Main Image: One of the contenders for Queensland’s top fossil – Diamantinasaurus-matildae (supplied).
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said after feedback from museums, tourism organisations and councils, 12 fossils had been shortlisted by the Queensland Government.
“Each of the dozen fossils on the shortlist symbolises Queensland’s natural history, unique landscape and biodiversity,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “Many of the southern hemisphere’s best dinosaur finds are in Outback Queensland.
“We know Australian and overseas visitors are enthralled by Queensland’s rich paleontological history. Thousands of visitors flock to Queensland’s Outback every year to discover the State’s prehistoric dinosaur remains, generating millions of dollars for our tourism economy.
“Queenslanders have previously chosen nine State emblems including the koala, Cooktown orchid, the brolga, sapphire gem, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, and an official colour – the mighty maroon.
“From land-based dinosaurs and sea predators to crocodiles and ancient fauna and flora, we’re now asking Queenslanders to have their say on the fossil that best represents the State’s prehistoric age.”
The Queensland Government has consulted with regional tourism organisations, councils and museum palaeontology experts to shortlist a dozen fossils for Queensland’s tenth official emblem:
- Diamantinasaurus matildae – Heavily-built titanosaur
- Kronosaurus queenslandicus – Super-predator of the Cretaceous seas
- Muttaburrasaurus langdoni – Big-nosed ornithopod
- Isisfordia duncani – Oldest known crocodile
- Eromangasaurus australis – Long-necked elasmosaur
- Rhoetosaurus brownie – sauropod
- Australotitan Cooperensis – Large titanosaur
- Richmond polycotylid – Long-snouted plesiosaur
- Obdurodon dicksoni – Ancient platypus with teeth
- Lovellea wintonensis – oldest known permineralised fossil flower
- Siderops kehli – Giant amphibian
- Ridersia watsonae – Early Sea lily-like animal
Have your say about Queensland’s top fossil here.
Mr Hinchliffe said the fossil emblem shortlist recognised the importance of dinosaurs to Queensland tourism.
“Everybody loves dinosaurs and that’s why our prehistoric past is a big part of Outback Queensland’s tourism recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Queensland’s best dinosaur destinations include Eromanga Natural History Museum, Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Kronosaurus Korner and Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said she expected Queenslanders to embrace the opportunity to have their say on the State’s fossil emblem.
“For 160 years, Queensland Museum experts have been leading the way in sharing their knowledge and assisting with the establishment of regional museums.”
Queensland Museum CEO Dr Jim Thompson said Queensland Museum Network scientists had been involved in the rich and ongoing fossil story.
“At Queensland Museum Network, we take our role as custodians of the State Collection, including our fossil treasures, very seriously.
“Our team of palaeontologists work with regional museums around the state to share their knowledge and ensure the stories of our fossil history is shared far and wide,” Dr Thompson said.
“Australia is one of the last frontiers for dinosaur discovery and Queensland is rapidly becoming known as the paleo-capital of the nation – so it is a must that we have a fossil emblem that represents our state.”
The state fossil emblem public consultation period will run from 11 April 2022 to 10 July 2022.
To learn more about each of the nominees and to have your say visit www.qld.gov.au/fossilemblem