Queensland, choose your favourite fossil

Updated April 10 2022 - 7:33am, first published 7:00am

QUEENSLANDERS are being to pick their favourite fossil, with one fossil to become Queensland's 10th official emblem.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said each of the 12 shortlisted fossils symbolised Queensland's natural history, unique landscape and biodiversity.

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"Many of the southern hemisphere's best dinosaur finds are in Outback Queensland," Mr Hinchcliffe said.

"We know Australian and overseas visitors are enthralled by Queensland's rich palaeontological history.

"Thousands of visitors flock to Queensland's outback every year to discover the state's prehistoric dinosaur remains, generating millions of dollars for our tourism economy."

Queensland's nine other state emblems include the koala, Cooktown orchid, the brolga, sapphire gem, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, and an official colour - the mighty maroon.

The shortlisted fossils are the:

  1. Diamantinasaurus matildae - Heavily-built titanosaur.
  2. Kronosaurus queenslandicus - Super-predator of the Cretaceous seas.
  3. Muttaburrasaurus langdoni - Big-nosed ornithopod.
  4. Isisfordia duncani - Oldest known crocodile.
  5. Eromangasaurus australis - Long-necked elasmosaur.
  6. Rhoetosaurus brownie - Jurassic-aged sauropod.
  7. Australotitan Cooperensis - Large titanosaur.
  8. Richmond polycotylid - Long-snouted plesiosaur.
  9. Obdurodon dicksoni - Ancient platypus with teeth.
  10. Lovellea wintonensis - oldest known permineralised fossil flower.
  11. Siderops kehli - Giant Jurassic amphibian.
  12. Ridersia watsonae - Early Sea lily-like animal.

Mr Hinchcliffe said the Palaszczuk Government was investing almost $500,000 in a dinosaur tourism roadmap to help collectively promote the best outback dinosaur destinations to domestic and international visitors to Queensland.

Destinations include Eromanga Natural History Museum, Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Kronosaurus Korner and Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre.

Queensland Museum chief executive officer Jim Thompson said Australia was one of the last frontiers for dinosaur discovery and Queensland is rapidly becoming known as the paleo-capital of the nation.

"So it is a must that we have a fossil emblem that represents our state," Dr Thompson said.

"Our team of palaeontologists work with regional museums around the state to share their knowledge and ensure the stories of our fossil history is shared far and wide."

Queensland Museum Geosciences principal curator Andrew Rozefelds said surprising new fossils were being uncovered each year.

"We see evidence of massive climate change, volcanic eruptions, extinction events and faunas and floras that are now long gone," Dr Rozefelds said.

"The fossil record can also tell us about the antecedents, the ancestors that gave rise to our modern Australian flora and fauna.

"This incredible wealth of discoveries from Queensland provides very rich pickings to select a state fossil emblem for Queensland."

The state fossil emblem public consultation period will run from April 11 to July 10.

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