Imagine that some 120 million years ago the Outback of Queensland was covered by a massive inland sea. The sea was filled with life of all sorts, and when these creatures died their bodies sank to the bottom of the ocean. Sometimes, some of these bodies would turn into fossils.
120 million years forward, and an Australian Outback farmer finds fossiled bones on a property called Marathon Station. The scientific world became excited. Even more so when more and more fossils turned up, bits and pieces of ancient marine animals that had once lived in this now arid country.
The triangle around Richmond, Hughenden and Winton is today famous in the world of paleaontolgists for being one of the richest areas for fossil finds worldwide.
Lucky that the little town of Richmond was able to keep most of these marine fossils, including some very significant ones, putting this little Outback town onto the map. The Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond is celebrating these unique circumstances and offers a wonderful collection of fascinating marine fossils.
Amongst its great collection is the best-preserved marine vertebrae skeleton of a pliosaurus which might be the most complete preserved skeleton in the world.
The minmi is almost complete as well, a land dweller who probably was washed into the sea and was covered in mud very rapidly.
Lastly, kronosaurus has been found in the area too, a massive marine animal with teeth up to 30cm long and four flippers, each up to 2m in length!
The collection is rounded off with beautiful smaller specism such as fish, turtles and sharks.
The kids had a fantastic time at the museum, discovering the different exhibits with an handheld audio guide. Dinosaurs never seem to fail us, their size and their strange shapes resonate wonderfully in little children’s brains.
If you happen to be in the area, then the Kronosaur Korner museum in Richmond should definitely be on your list. Other natural history museums may hold interesting fossil collections too, but the uniqueness and the completeness of the skeletons we found here make it well worth the visit!
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Kronosaurus Korner, Richmond. http://www.kronosauruskorner.com.au/ Children around $10, adults $20, family passes $40.