John Long: The life of a fossil hunter

Australian palaeontologist Professor John Long has spent a lifetime expanding knowledge of ancient animals, especially fishes from the Devonian age, about 400 million years ago. He’s worked around the world and made ground-breaking discoveries that have contributed to understanding of how reproduction evolved, and the reasons behind global mass extinctions. He’s written more than 20 … Continue reading John Long: The life of a fossil hunter

What to do if you find fossils or artefacts

Six years ago, grazier Robert Hacon was driving around his cattle property in outback Queensland when he drove over what he thought was a cow skull. Past into present: A trilobite fossil, Redlichia rex found at Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island – a marine creature that lived over 500 million years ago during the Cambrian period. Credit: The … Continue reading What to do if you find fossils or artefacts

9 funky stories for Fossil Day

Happy Fossil Day! Here at Cosmos, we love a good yarn about fossils, from dinosaurs to ancient humans to the earliest animals on the planet. Today we celebrate the exceptionally old specimens that harken from a time past. Here are 9 of our favourite funky fossil stories to get the old bones going! 1. Junior … Continue reading 9 funky stories for Fossil Day

Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time

This article first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 16 July 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. There’s a place where you can get a glimpse of the world as it was when animals were first becoming animals, and it has just become Australia’s newest national park. Six hours north of Adelaide … Continue reading Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time

Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time

There’s a place where you can get a glimpse of the world as it was when animals were first becoming animals, and it has just become Australia’s newest national park. Six hours north of Adelaide on a lonely stretch of highway west of the Flinders Ranges, a dirt road snakes off the bitumen, through a … Continue reading Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time

Found: Oldest bilby and bandicoot fossils

A scientist from the Western Australian Museum has discovered the oldest known fossils of two iconic Australian animals – the bilby and the bandicoot – which had been kept for decades at the University of Washington, US. Both the bilby and the bandicoot are small, furry, rodent-like marsupials found on mainland Australia and – in … Continue reading Found: Oldest bilby and bandicoot fossils

Prehistoric flies trapped in amber

There’s bad days, and then there’s this. Around 41 million years ago, two prehistoric flies on the southern tip of Gondwana were happily mating away when they found themselves in a sticky situation. Unfortunately for the amorous pair of long-legged flies (Dolichopodidae), they found themselves stuck in the resin of a tree while getting frisky, … Continue reading Prehistoric flies trapped in amber