Thursday, January 20, 2022

Prehistoric monster ‘Croc’ is now Victoria’s state fossil emblem

A prehistoric monster amphibian that looked like a crocodile and was the size of a car has joined the likes of the Leadbeater’s possum, the helmeted honeyeater and gold as an official emblem of Victoria.
The four-metre Koolasuchus cleelandi had dozens of ridged fangs for piercing prey and two-inch tusks growing from the roof of its mouth – and following a public vote the predator is now Victoria’s State Fossil Emblem.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said 11,500 Victorians voted in Museums Victoria’s poll to select the fossil emblem with Koolasuchus cleelandi beating other fossils unique to the state including a 25-million-yearold whale and one of the first plants to live outside water that dates back 400 million years.
Koolasuchus cleelandi, first discovered in 1978 near San Remo on Bunurong Country, is on permanent display at Melbourne Museum.
Fossils of Koolasuchus have only been found at beaches and coves in South Gippsland. Resembling something between a huge salamander and a crocodile, Koolasuchus cleelandi lived in the rushing rivers that separated Australia and Antarctica during the Cretaceous period.
Sharing the land with dinosaurs including the armoured ankylosaurus, the giant amphibian ate small dinosaurs, turtles and fish. Due to Victoria’s climate, the Koolasuchus was able to survive here for about 50 million years after
all its relatives had died off, before eventually succumbing to extinction 125 million years ago.
The species was named after fossil collector and educator Michael Cleeland who in 1990 found the jaw that became the holotype of the species, and Melbourne Museum research associate Lesley Kool, who spent months preparing the specimens. Koolasuchus is also something of a play on words as the species lived in a cool environment when Victoria was deep in the southern polar circle.
The Koolasuchus cleelandi is part of Melbourne Museum’s 600 Million Years exhibition that showcases the origin of life in Victoria through fossils, models, animatronics and animations. Entry to Melbourne Museum is free for children.
Victoria’s other state emblems are the Leadbeater’s Possum (animal), the Helmeted Honeyeater (bird), the Weedy Seadragon (marine animal), the Common Heath (flora), and gold (mineral).
Images and videos related to Koolasuchus cleelandi are available at tinyurl.com/3x7vwa7r.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said, “While it might not be a creature you’d want to come across in the wild, the Koolasuchus cleelandi tells a fascinating
story about Victoria’s history – and we welcome it as our official fossil emblem.”
“It’s another reason why Melbourne Museum is such treasure and a great day out this summer.”
Museums Victoria chief executive Lynley Crosswell said,“Koolasuchus cleelandi is of global significance and it provides clues to the evolution of life on Earth and the past
environments of Victoria.”
“Museums Victoria is renowned for our paleontology collection with exceptional fossils from sites across Victoria. We display these fossils, research them and keep them safe for future generations to learn from.”

MUST READ  3 million Rapid Tests reach Victoria, bulk order is of 44 million

Latest news

IVF procedures to resume amidst Covid pandemic

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures suspended as part of the temporary changes to protect our hospitals will...

139 students achieve top results in HSC 2021 results

The students who have obtained first place in a 2021 Higher School Certificate course will be acknowledged today for their extraordinary academic achievement.  Premier Dominic...

Free tickets availabe for premier’s gala concert at NSW Seniors Festival

Christine Anu, Shannon Noll and Phil Burton from Human Nature will lead the line-up for the highly anticipated Premier's Gala Concerts during this year's...

76,000 students in HSC class of 2021 celebrate results

The wait is over for 76,000 students who have today received their Higher School Certificate results. Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said this is a...

Related news

MUST READ  Victoria records 22,429 new Covid cases; Health Minister slams the unvaccinated

IVF procedures to resume amidst Covid pandemic

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures suspended as part of the temporary changes to protect our hospitals will...

139 students achieve top results in HSC 2021 results

The students who have obtained first place in a 2021 Higher School Certificate course will be acknowledged today for their extraordinary academic achievement.  Premier Dominic...

Free tickets availabe for premier’s gala concert at NSW Seniors Festival

Christine Anu, Shannon Noll and Phil Burton from Human Nature will lead the line-up for the highly anticipated Premier's Gala Concerts during this year's...

76,000 students in HSC class of 2021 celebrate results

The wait is over for 76,000 students who have today received their Higher School Certificate results. Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said this is a...

Shah Rukh Khan returns to social media with Insta post to promote LG rollable TV

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has returned to social media with a bang. The actor, who’s been missing since his son Aryn Khan’s arrest in...

Death of Charlise Mutten the 9-yr-old girl found dead in NSW, mourned in hometown Queensland

Hundreds gathered in Tweed Heads to mourn the death of nine-year-old girl Charlise Mutten, who was found dead after being reported missing in the Blue Mountains...

Delayed 2021 ATAR results of NSW’s HSC students out today

A long summer wait is finally over for New South Wales' HSC students of 2021, who will find out their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) today. The...

Temporary workers, families, students seek return to Australia

The Morrison Government has welcomed the return to Australia of a range of temporary workers to support our pandemic recovery in critical roles. International Student...