Chillagoe’s geological and fossil record is unique. It is one of the very few places in the world where fossil evidence can be found from three different geological ages.
* The limestone bluffs, which dominate the town, contain remnants of the early coral reef (500 million years ago) from a time when Chillagoe was beach front property on the Australian landmass.
* The black soil plains of the Walsh River area are famous worldwide for the distribution of magnificent specimens of ammonites, deposited when the great inland sea inundated the continent during the cretaceous period, at the same time that the
dinosaurs walked on other continents and their counterpart Australian species left their bones in the Winton area, and their footprints at Lark Quarry’.
* The third geological fossil period is from a relatively recent era.It dates back to when the mega-fauna inhabited the grasslands. The giant wombat Phascolonus gigas, the skull of which was 40 centimetres long (about the size of a cow’s head),
Palorchestes, the size of a horse, equipped with razor-like claws up to 12 centimetres long, and a bizarre head crowned with a longish trunk, the Chillagoe Kangaroo, which favowed a meat diet rather than vegetarian, and Sarcophilus, the Tasmanian Devil, all roamed the Chillagoe bushland.
The fossilised bones of these and other magnificent creatures havc been found in fissures within the limestone and in the debris of collapsed cave deposits. Standing at two metres high and nearly three metres long, Dipraoadn optatum was the largest marsupial that ever lived. This giant also browsed in the Chillagoe landscape. Evidence for the existence of this grandiose creature comes from the ashes of the cooking fires of an indigenous site, the paintings of which have been dated as some of the oldest in the world.
Identifying the need for the reproduction of ‘Dave’
Several years ago the fossilised skeleton of the most complete Elasmosaur found in Australia was discovered in the ancient inland Apian Sea area which bordered Chillagoe. ‘Dave’ as it has been nicknamed, along with all the other special finds of the Chillagoe region, now reside in museums, mostly in the basement, in southern
capitals or, as in the case of the specialised Chillagoe Kangaroo and other miscellane are on display at Berkeley, California. Repeated atternpts to obtain: replicas have been unsuccessful to date, except for the return of a replica of the skull of a rare Ziphodont Crocodile, which can now be seen at The Hub, The Chillagoe Information Centre.
Although there is an excellent Time-Line Display at The Hub, there is nothing tangible to indicate that there is a fascinating tale to be told on an epic scale – until now!
The life-sized reproduction of “Dave’ will be placed at the entrance to town and officially unveiled on Saturday, the 3d October 2009. Signage showing that Chillagoe is the apex to the ‘Dinosaur Triangle’ together with other interpretive signage, will give recognition to the unique geology of the region. Come and join in and celebrate!
|Kylie starting to carve Dave||Dave is coming into formation from his polystyrene block.|
|Further along the process, greetings to the ancient one.|