When fossicking for opals how do you tell a Dinosaur bone from a stone or a rock?Scientists in the field often do a spot test on an item by licking it! If a specimen sticks to your tongue it is likely to be bone. Bone is porous compared to a stone so stone will not stick to your tongue.But opalised dinosaur bones will not stick o your tongue but the opal colour is obvious
It is extremely rare and fortunate to find a dinosaur bone or anopalised fossil.It is also extremely rare to have opalization form on the fossil. Today only collectors or museums have these incredible specimens.
Opalised Dinosaur Jaw Bone - Cooper Pedy, SA
Theropod Tooth - Lightning Ridge, NSW
Large Dinosaur Vertebra - Lighting Ridge, NSW
Jaw bone And Tooth - Cooper Pedy, SA
Plesiosauria Tooth - Lighting Ridge, NSW
Fish Jaw Bone - Coober Pedy, SA
A Titanosaur found in Winton, Queensland nicknamed Elliot weighed an estimated 100 tonnes and was 45 meters long.
Also discovered in Queensland was a dinosaur that weighs an estimated 30 – 40 tonnes and is approximately 30 meters tall. It is housed at Eromanga Natural History Museum and open to the public.
Eric the Plesiosaur. During the natural fossilization process, opalization occurred, leaving the fossil with semi-precious hues of opal colours.
This Discovery was made in 1987 by opal miners in Coober Pedy south Australia. Plesiosaurs aren’t dinosaurs they are actually marine reptiles. Eric is a marine reptile not a dinosaur but locals call him our Dinosaur Eric.
Fortunately It was not made into opal jewelry which did happen to many fossil finds in the late 1980 to 1990s. Now you need an export permit to ship fossils out of Australia so the fossil industry is now controlled.
Lightning Ridge Palaeontologist have evidence that a killer seven meter tall Dinosaur roamed over 110 million years ago before migrating to South America
Most dinosaur’s skeletons have 200 bones compared to a human that has 206 bones. But tails can have many extra bones!
Many bones in the Queensland area are covered in iron oxide mudstone which is a hard protective covering making them hard to clean. The bone is well preserved and resists decay.
Footprints In Queensland go back to the Jurassic period some 215 million years ago to our youngest which was in the Cretaceous period some 6 million years ago. Dinosaurs roamed Australia, than known a s known as Gondwanaland for some 149 million years.
The Worlds oldest know fossil is actually a single celled organisms from Western Australia that are 3.5 billion years old.
Also growth rings on fossil corals have been used to work out that there used ot be 399 days per year about 390 million years ago due to the worlds spin gradually slowing down to 365 days per year and don’t forget that leap year!
This desert town was once had many large streams flowing to an inland sea. Many fossils from marine to vegetation to Dinosaurs are found and some are with actual opal colour. Some common types of fossils include
Many specimens have no or little colour so it’s very rare to find fossil opalised with strong colour hues.
At present the town is planning to open Australian Opal Centre to house collections of Age of dinosaurs .This $ 30 million buidling will display rare fossils and opalised fossils from Lightning Ridge including rare black opalised fossils from shells to Bones
Most wood from the cretaceous period are found in the Winton Formation and have sandy potch. This is a good indication that dinosaur fossils might be close by. The black soil plains are around 98 millions years old. The Winton formation has over 2 dozen dinosaur fossil sites and this is also where Boulder opal wood fossils are found.
Winton is situated in the central Queensland opal fields. It has the Age of dinosaurs Museum. This incredible museum also has a dinosaur trail walk so you can walk where dinosaurs once walked.
This building is a wealth of knowledge about dinosaurs and you can join groups to actually clean and help preserve real dinosaur bones.
Many fossil remains have been found in Australia of a soft shelled turtle that do not occur today.
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