The Koonwarra Fossil Bed: Ferns, flowers, fleas and fish... and feathers for good measure!
The most recent large scale excavation at the Koonwarra Fossil Bed was undertaken in 1981. Although fossil plants were the focus of this dig, future excavations at the site might target fossil tetrapods – four-legged back-boned animals. The evidence for these is limited to a handful of feathers so far.
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Most people with an interest in palaeontology will eventually come across the term Lagerstätte. Although it sounds like a brand of Bavarian beer, you will not find Lagerstätte on tap at Oktoberfest. However, both the beer type called lager and the palaeontological term derive from the same word: lager, which means ‘storeroom’ in German. Combined with stätte, which means ‘place’, the translation of Lagerstätte is simply ‘storeroom place’. In truth, it does not sound very exciting once you break it down. However, if you found a Lagerstätte and told a palaeontologist of your discovery, they would practically beg you to take them to it.
AAOD Journal Issue 15 (2017) – pages 64 to 82
By Dr Stephen Poropat
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