The Paleo Lab – Part 2

The paleontology lab processes fossils large, like this diprotodon skull that’s almost a metre in length…

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

To microscopic fossils from small marsupials or bats – these are micro-bat skulls.

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

Everything needs to be sieved…

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

Sorted (sometimes via microscope, as with these tiny teeth and jaws)…

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

And then classified. This generally involves comparing the fossils to known species. Teeth are the most useful fossils for classification as they are unique for every species.

This is the lower jaw of a small marsupial species, similar to a kangaroo.

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

And this is another diprotodon jaw, but for a much smaller species as it fits in a 10 x 10cm box.

Riversleigh Notes visit to the paleo lab

These fossils may then be formally described as part of university research. The best go to university or museum collections. It’s this kind of research that helps paint a picture of what ancient Australia was like thousands and millions of years ago.

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