Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Early Cretaceous Non-Marine Animals

The Broome Sandstone, that outcrops near Broome, far northwestern Western Australia in the Canning Basin, has produced some of the oldest Australian terrestrial fossils from the Cretaceous. Spectacular dinosaur trackways have been exposed in the Broome Sandstone where it is exposed on platforms that have been formed by wave action.

The Strzelecki Group of Barremian-Aptian age that includes the Koonwarra Fossil Beds near Leongatha and the Flat Rocks deposits near Inverloch in southern Victoria also contains fossil assemblages from the Lower Cretaceous. Faunas and floras of the ancient rift valley that connected Australia to Antarctica about 120 Ma have been preserved in these deposits.

Nearshore marine deposits from Queensland also contain the remains of plants and animals from the Albian, the result of carcasses being washed out to sea.

Very well preserved rare dinosaur specimens, pterosaurs and birds have been found in the Toolebuc Formation, Allaru Mudstone and the Mackunda Formation (Eromanga Basin)

The opal mines at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales (Griman Creek Formation) and coastal cliffs in the Otway Ranges (Otway Group), southern Victoria have produced fossil material that is more fragmentary. About 110 Ma both these regions were dominated by river systems.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Kear, B.P. & Hamilton-Bruce, R.J., 2011, Dinosaurs in Australia, Mesozoic life from the southern continent, CSIRO Publishing.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated  15/12/2011

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