Search results for "fossils"

  • How are fossils found and excavated?

    Finding fossils is a combination of hard work, chance and knowing where to look! Fossils are mostly found where sedimentary rocks of the right age are exposed, such as river valleys, cliffs and hillsides, and human-made exposures such as quarries and road cuttings. Most of the time, fossils are only partially uncovered on site, then removed individually or in blocks before being taken back to a laboratory.

  • What are fossils?

    Fossils are our window into the past.

  • How are fossils formed?

    For a plant or animal to become a fossil, a series of events must occur...

  • Dating dinosaurs and other fossils

    Fossils themselves, and the sedimentary rocks they are found in, are very difficult to date directly.

  • Collecting fossils in New South Wales

    In New South Wales there is no legislation specifically dealing with the collection of fossils. Fossils may be collected by fossicking (manual digging only and no major excavation as defined in the New South Wales Mining Act. Where you collect is restricted by who controls or owns the land on which the fossils are found.

  • Common Fossils of the Sydney Basin

    The Sydney region, extending from Wollongong to Newcastle and Lithgow, is part of a large geological feature called the Sydney Basin.

  • Fossil Sites of Australia

    Fossils are a part of our natural heritage and while the vast majority of fossils found by amateur collectors are worth very little in monetary terms, they may be important scientifically.

  • Preparing fossils, reconstructing the past

    The very early stages of piecing together the animals and plants of the past involve removing their fossils from the rock and preserving them for study.

  • A Variety of Fossils

    Mineralised fossils are formed when organic matter in remains is gradually replaced with minerals, ultimately turning the remains to ‘rock’. See some examples in this gallery.

  • Talbragar fossil site

    Recent authorised excavations at Tabralgar, near Gulgong, New South Wales, led by palaeontologists from the Australian National University and the Australian Museum have resulted in several new fossil discoveries, particularly of insects and spiders. They revealed three fossil bearing beds with thicknesses of: 17 cm for the upper layer, 30 cm for the middle layer, and 30 cm for the lower layer. These layers are separated by weathered shales. Fish fossils are more common in the upper and middle layers.

  • Fossil: Archaefructus liaoningensis


  • From dinosaur to fossil: stage 3


  • Our ancestors’ fossils – ancient bones and footprints

    Fossils are fascinating reminders of life in ancient times. They can also reveal an amazing amount of information. Fossils have, for example, helped us work out who some of our direct ancestors might be. They have also helped us gain insights into the changing environments and lifestyles of these early people.

  • Opalised fossils from Lightning Ridge

    Lightning Ridge in north-western New South Wales is a rich source of opals, and many beautiful and valuable opalised fossils have been found there. These opalised fossils date from the Cretaceous Period, with specimens coming from many animal groups including dinosaurs, marine reptiles, fish, early mammals and molluscs, as well as fossils of parts of plants.

  • Fossil: Mesosaur, Brazilosaurus sanpauloensis