Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Queenslanders to decide fossil emblem

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Dr Andrew Rozefelds from the Queensland Museum with a fossil emblem contender.

Media Statement, Queenslanders to decide top fossil, Queensland Government, 10 April, 2022

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe.

Queenslanders will be able to pick their favourite fossil to add to Queensland’s nine official emblems from April 11.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said after feedback from museums, tourism organisations and councils, 12 fossils had been shortlisted by the Palaszczuk 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 palaeontological 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 Palaszczuk Government has consulted with regional tourism organisations, councils and museum palaeontology experts to shortlist a dozen fossils for Queensland’s tenth official emblem:

  1. Diamantinasaurus matildae – Heavily-built titanosaur
  2. Kronosaurus queenslandicus – Super-predator of the Cretaceous seas
  3. Muttaburrasaurus langdoni – Big-nosed ornithopod
  4. Isisfordia duncani – Oldest known crocodile
  5. Eromangasaurus australis – Long-necked elasmosaur
  6. Rhoetosaurus brownie – Jurassic-aged sauropod
  7. Australotitan Cooperensis – Large titanosaur
  8. Richmond polycotylid – Long-snouted plesiosaur
  9. Obdurodon dicksoni – Ancient platypus with teeth
  10. Lovellea wintonensis – oldest known permineralised fossil flower
  11. Siderops kehli – Giant Jurassic amphibian
  12. Ridersia watsonae – Early Sea lily-like animal

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.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing almost $500,000 in a dinosaur tourism roadmap to bring together Queensland’s best prehistoric visitor experiences.

“Our roadmap will help tourism operators collectively promote the best Outback dinosaur destinations to domestic and international visitors to Queensland.”

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.”

Queensland Museum Principal Curator Geosciences Dr Andrew Rozefelds said surprising new fossil finds are being uncovered each year.

“We see evidence of massive climate change, volcanic eruptions, extinction events and faunas and floras that are now long gone,” Dr Rozefelds said.

“The fossil record can also tell us about the antecedents, the ancestors that gave rise to our modern Australian flora and fauna.

“This incredible wealth of discoveries from Queensland provides very rich pickings to select a state fossil emblem for Queensland.”

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

Media: 0427 475 089 (Minister Hinchliffe’s office)

**Fossil images for publication are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xjyn0nfugsta96o/AADBTG5kjYmXUeyyObA0qeqCa?dl=0

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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