The fossil discovery centre is situated within the Tourist Info Centre. A guided tour explained the work being done out at the Riversleigh Fossil Fields, some 380km north of The Isa (as the locals say) and of the research being conducted in the working laboratory here in the discovery centre.
As well as an interesting display of ancient fossilized bones and some more recent specimens, there were several microscopes set up in the lab focused on all manner of skeletal fragments that have been unearthed by the team of paleontologists. Various tubs of citric acid were slowly dissolving chunks of limestone and we could clearly see bone fragments emerging. The treatment can take up to 18months depending on the size of rock. There was a very good specimen of bat bones (found on the floor of a cave) which had become embedded into a stalagmite.
Some of the fossils found out at the Fossil Fields have been dated at more than 25million years old, at the time when Australia broke away from the Gondwanan super continent. The Fields have been acknowledged (by Sir David Attenborough amongst others) as being of significant importance having discovered over