Gippsland › Latest news › Bass Coast Local News

Dinosaur from Bass Coast named as Victoria's official State Fossil Emblem

Proposed dinosaur trail, to give an experience and understanding about the fossil and dinosaurs that once roamed Bass Coast.

By news@gippsland - 14th January 2022 - Back to News

In exciting news for the Bass Coast region, the locally discovered Koolasuchus Cleelandi has been named as Victoria's official State Fossil Emblem, following a public vote. The four-metre Koolasuchus Cleelandi had dozens of ridged fangs for piercing prey and two-inch tusks growing from the roof of its mouth. It was first discovered in 1978 near San Remo and fossils of Koolasuchus have only been found at beaches and coves in South Gippsland.

Koolasuchus Cleelandi is a 'relic' species found in VIctoria that lived 50 million years after its relatives went extinct and is named for Michael Cleeland and Lesley Kool, who found the first Koolasuchus fossil and prepared it from surrounding rock

Koolasuchus Cleelandi is a 'relic' species found in VIctoria that lived 50 million years after its relatives went extinct and is named for Michael Cleeland and Lesley Kool, who found the first Koolasuchus fossil and prepared it from surrounding rock

Developing a trail project

Resembling something between a huge salamander and a crocodile, Koolasuchus cCeelandi lived in the rushing rivers that separated Australia and Antarctica during the Cretaceous period.

The species was named after fossil collector, educator and Bass Coast local Michael Cleeland who, in 1990, found the fossilised 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.

Bass Coast Shire Council Acting CEO, Greg Box, said Koolasuchus Cleelandi is the hero of the proposed Bass Coast Dinosaur Trail. "Lesley Kool and Mike Cleeland have been instrumental in developing the Trail project, which makes this announcement even more exciting," Mr Box said.

Opportunity for everyone

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that the San Remo site, and the Dinosaurs Trail as a whole, presents a wonderful learning opportunity. "San Remo, where the dinosaur was discovered has been identified as a key site in this unique experience and presents a significant opportunity for everyone to develop an understanding about the uniqueness of polar dinosaur fossils, their history and the global significance of this stretch of coastline," Cr Whelan said.

The Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail experience will generate enthusiasm in different parts of our region, drawing new and existing visitors deeper into the communities and economies of the Bass Coast.

Promoting the importance of fossils

The Trail will complement the permanent display at the Melbourne Museum and exhibitions such as 600 Million Years which showcases the origin of life in Victoria and features the Koolasuchus Cleelandi. "We look forward to partnering with the State Government to promote the importance of fossils and species such as the Koolasuchus in the future," Cr Whelan said.

For more information on the Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail, visit Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail Masterplan, phone 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email basscoast@basscoast.vic.gov.au.

Pictures from Bass Coast Shire website.


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: news@gippsland.com



Edit this news article




Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2022 gippsland.com Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, Gippsland.com does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.