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Location: The previous weekend I went out for a trip through the West MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs, NT, Australia. Along the way I stopped at a few locations and examined the rocks near the road for any signs of interesting fossils or minerals. Finally, at the location marked in figure 1.2 below I found some interesting shale / limestone formations that contained fossil, this image displays the locality of the fossils below. Figure 1.1 comes from 'Northern Territory Geological Survey, A Guide to the Geology and Landforms of Central Australia by R B Thompson, 1995, Pg. 103' and details the stratigraphic layers that run along the West MacDonnell ranges. The location of the fossils I am looking to identify was 30km east of the formations shown in figure 1.1. Figure 1.3 gives a rough estimate of how figure 1.1 and figure 1.2 relate to each other. From following the clear ridge of Arumbera Sandstone we can see that the ridge just north of the fossil locality is the Arumbera Sandstone. This means the finds are most likely from the Hugh River Shale or the Jay Creek Limestone. The unit age of the Hugh River Shale is listed as 535 - 505 Ma. These strata are part of the Amadeus Basin. Fossil: I'm unsure if the image below is a fossil created from a living organism or simply a geological feature. The small tube like structures on one surface of the rock are about 0.2-1mm in diameter and range from 1mm - 1cm in length, these can be seen on images 1-4, 1-5, 1-6 and 1-7. It can be hard to make out but the tube structures appear to be bunched into three long rectangular bands, this is best seen in images 1-5 and 1-6. The opposing surface of the rock has banded formations that line up with the groupings of tube structures, seen running vertical in image 1-1 and horizontal in 1-3. A curled lip of finely layered rock can also be seen on the same surface as the tube structures. [EDIT] From some further reading possibly Anabaritid? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228488202_The_tube_wall_of_Cambrian_anabaritids Kouchinsky, A. and Bengtson, S. 2002. The Tube Wall of Cambrian Anabaritids All image, including more finds from the same location can be seen in the One Drive link below. These could possibly shed more insight. https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ai3mV0Fc5mW7g90DyT9ZE47yaQhvQw For a better perspective of the area you can check my Google Maps which has the exact location bookmarked as "Unknown Fossil Locality 1". https://drive.google.com/open?id=17sjqvyah6GekBT8y1cUCLwsgRHj300xb Fig 1.1 (Left), Fig 1.2 (Right) Fig 1.3 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 1-6 1-7
JesseKoz posted a topic in Australia - New ZealandI've started to compile information on fossil locations near Alice Springs into a google map, the sites are grouped by period and have further information in the tooltip, the link to this is below. Is there anyone on the Fossil Forums that has experience with fossil locations in Central Australia? Would love to hear of some more sites to investigate and add to my map! Central Australia Fossil Localities Google Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=17sjqvyah6GekBT8y1cUCLwsgRHj300xb I have recently found a renewed interest in paleontology and geology, helped by Benjamin Burgers fantastic videos on Youtube. It led me to wanting to learn more about the geological past of where I live, Alice Springs, and surrounding Central Australia and where I could find some fossils. At first I couldn't find too much information on fossil sites aside from Alcoota, which I already knew of. This amazing site contains a large bed of vertebrate fossils dating to the late Miocene but is obviously of great scientific importance and not somewhere I can go (leave that one to the experts). Then I started reading scientific journals and papers, mainly through google scholar, and found this to be a much better way of discovering nearby locations. I have found the government geological 250k surveys to be a great resource with lots of detailed core samples covering some very remote locales. The surveys also contain stratigraphic maps which I used in conjunction with Google Earth's image overlay feature, great way to see the geological layers across vast sections of remote Central Australia. I highly recommend giving this a go. So far the only nearby fossil sites I have been to is Maloney Creek, south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Hwy. This small dry creek crosses the highway and just off the roadside along the creek bed and nearby hills are dense layers of fossiliferous rock, dating to the middle Ordovician. I have found Trilobite and Nautiloid fossils at this site, all fragmented as the fossils from this site are heavily worn and often found in a dense matrix. I'm hoping to head out to to the Ammaroo fossil location once it's not too hot and see if I can find some fully intact Cambrian fossils. This site is very remote, but from what I've read contains some of the best preserved Cambrian fossils in the region. It also happens to be very close to an Aboriginal community I lived on some years back, Ampilatwatja. Shame I didn't know about the fossil site then!