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Housed in an attractive corrugated iron cylinder, this little museum packs a powerful punch!
Story of the Museum:
"Age of Fishes - Canowindra Fish Fossils
In 1956, a road worker overturned a large slab of rock containing strange impressions. This discovery eventually led to one of the greatest fish fossil finds ever. This site lies between the towns of Canowindra and Goolongong in Central West NSW.
The slab was pushed aside and saved, and later forwarded to the Australian Museum in Sydney. It contained fossil remains of 114 complete, long extinct armoured fish that lived during the late Devonian period. The original slab also contained one beautifully preserved specimen of an air-breathing, lobe-finned fish, later described and named Canowindra grossi (after Canowindra, and a famous German palaeontologist, Walter Gross). Before the site could be properly excavated it was sealed over.
In January 1993, after persuading the local council to assist in the search, Dr Alex Ritchie (a palaeontologist at the Australian Museum, Sydney) rediscovered the site.
The fossil remains uncovered consisted of thousands of complete fish specimens. This was a result of a unique combination of circumstances: a mass-kill of an entire fish population, rapid gentle burial and good preservation of the skeletal remains."
An interesting point is that the 'miss-kill' apparently occurred during a massive drought - no changes there huh?;-)
Not a bad little detour though doable in about an hour. They are not just fish in rocks, but are an important missing link in the geologic record of fossils...
Written Nov 14, 2003
Address: Corner of Gaskill and Ferguson Street, Canowindra
Phone: +61 (0) 2 6344 1008
Favorite thing: At the time of our driving holiday (2002), Australia was gripped in the worst drought probably in the history of Australia since federation and definitely the worst since proper financial records have been kept.
Throughout the country farmers have been forced to cull their animals and struggle to make ends meet - to many this has meant financial ruin!
The photo shows a graphic illustration of the effect of the drought on OZ's farming hinterland and an approaching duststorm. Whilst capturing the event, somehow the camera doesn't seem to portray the real strength of the storm because it actually looked far worse to our own eyes.
It was driveable but I pitied the poor livestock that had to endure its effects - they can get terrible eye infections such as 'pink eye' from all the dust in the air.
One unexpected bonus from the duststorm was that it allowed us to watch the solar eclipse later that night in Parkes by filtering the strength of the sunlight.
Updated Nov 15, 2003