Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Fossil File

Fossil File

The Oldest Lizards, Salty Amphibians and Dandruffy Dinosaurs

By John Long

While dinosaur dandruff and salt-tolerance in tetrapods have palaeontologists excited, the recent auction of fossil bones is a sore point.

Image copyright of Davide Bonadonna, published with permission

Dinosaurs Should Rock Older Students Too

By John Long

Primary schools use dinosaurs to teach how scientific disciplines overlap. Universities should too.

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The Rise of Spiders and Roaches

The 100-million-year-old spider Chimerarachne preserved in Burmese amber. Credit: Dr Diying Huang, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaoentology

The 100-million-year-old spider Chimerarachne preserved in Burmese amber. Credit: Dr Diying Huang, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaoentology

By John Long

Tiny fossils preserved in amber reveal when spiders evolved their ability to spin webs and cockroaches first spread across the globe.

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Fossil Treasures in Urban Australia

By John Long

Our biggest cities remain great places to search for fossils. Here are some tips about where to start looking.

In mid-November our team of palae­ontologists were air-lifted in by helicopter to do fieldwork along the Genoa River in east Gippsland. It was a tough week, walking up and down the river to access outcrops of exposed rock, but it’s all part and parcel of the fossil research game.

When Palaeontology and Philosophy Meet

By John Long

The Cambrian explosion of animal diversity, evident at the Burgess Shale fossil site, is fertile ground for philosophers to ponder.

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Gliding Jurassic Mammals, Huge Dinosaurs and Ice Age Birds

A 160-million-year-old gliding mammal (Maiopatagium) discovered in China. Credit: Prof Zhe-Xi Luo, University of Chicago

A 160-million-year-old gliding mammal (Maiopatagium) discovered in China. Credit: Prof Zhe-Xi Luo, University of Chicago

By John Long

Gliding Jurassic Mammals, Huge Dinosaurs and Ice Age Birds

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The Amazing Dinosaur Tracks of Broome

By John Long

The discovery of a diverse range of dinosaur tracks fills in a huge gap that tells us what kinds of dinosaurs once inhabited Australia during the first quarter of the Cretaceous period.

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Getting a Palaeontology Job in Australia

By John Long

Australia’s funding system disadvantages students attempting to turn their palaeontology studies into a career.

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Explorer’s Tragic Burden Transformed Geology

By John Long

Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition sowed the first seeds of Gondwana.

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Footprints in Time

By John Long

Tetrapod trackways are helping to decode the behaviour of these Devonian creatures.

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