As published in Riversleigh Notes Issue No. 91, October 2014, the newsletter of the Riversleigh Society. Join the society by clicking on Membership at the top of the Riversleigh Society web site.
We had another delightful field trip to Riversleigh this year. Over 30 people from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and New Zealand met at our accommodation at the Adels Grove Camping Park on the 30th of June.
On our way up from Mount Isa, the closest airport, we collected the hire cars, hired a generator and a corded drill, picked up our tools from the storage containers at Alan and Dale Rackham’s property and purchased other essential supplies.
The Riversleigh team were separated into several groups depending on the objectives for the day. We had our safety briefing on the first morning (Figure 2), and separated into the planned groups each day before setting off for the day’s activities at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area (“RWHA”), about 50km south of Adels Grove.
Mike gave several sessions of his customary Cook’s Tours to the Riversleigh “D” site (Figure 3) to all the first-timers, members of the Waterhouse Group and Hunter Geology. “D” site was the first major fossil deposit discovered at Riversleigh. The Interpretive Centre at the “D” site is the only publicly accessible fossil location at Riversleigh.
Jon’s Dating Madness And The Game Of Troy
I was in the group assigned to survey the area north and east of the AL90 site on the first morning. Jon Woodhead, our dating expert from the University of Melbourne, found the first site of this trip (Figure 4) and named it Jon’s Dating Madness (“JDM”). The bits of bone and teeth protruding from the rock surfaces looked very promising so we conducted a more extensive survey of the surrounds. Troy Myers very soon found the Game Of Troy (“GOT”) site about 30 meters north east of JDM.
We started the excavation of the both the JDM and GOT sites. GOT turned out to be a thin lens of fossiliferous material and was quickly exhausted. However JDM kept producing more fossiliferous materials the deeper and wider we excavated. Some of the teeth and bone were identified as kangaroo, diprotodontid (Figure 5) and bird.
Our excavation team at JDM numbered 10 to 15 people over several days (Figure 6). We collected several hundred kilograms of fossiliferous materials. It was the most productive site for this year’s trip.
The Waterhouse Group (Figure 7) got right into the digging, cracking, sorting and packaging the the fossiliferous limestone at JDM.