The Riversleigh fossil sites are now under the management of national parks. Unfortunately, some people seem to disregard the rule of not taking anything without permission, hence the sign below.
Apparently, people have lifted huge slabs, without remorse before. ‘D’ Site is the only site in Riversleigh open to the public, and the first that was worked on. Back in 1976, a group of palaeontologists from the Queensland Museum came out to explore a tip-off they got from one of their colleagues, who found lots of bone in the limestone years before, but didn’t bother to pursue it further because he thought bones in limestone were impossible to extract.
This was what he saw.
Luckily, the QM paleos were more persistent, and they discovered lots of bone peeking out from the rock. And discovered more creatures from Miocene Australia (around 25 million years ago).
These bones are the leg bone of a dromornis – a giant bird that weight over 500kg, with a lethally big beak. So big and lethal in fact that the scientists nicknamed it the ‘Demon Duck of Doom’ (it might be distantly related to modern ducks).
Here it is fighting with a crocodile!