Archer and the Fossil Window to the Past
was a recent
evening event held at Outback at Isa
designed to educate our local
community about the opportunities available to incorporate the values
of Riversleigh World Heritage
. The Riversleigh
World Heritage area located only 280 km north-west of Isa, has supplied
more than 40,000 fossil specimens and according to UNESCO, is among the
world's greatest 10 fossil sites
Guests were treated to two exceptional speakers with Professor
from the University of NSW and Terry
from the Wet Tropics Management
. Mike Archer, who is the university's
professor of PalaeoBiology, has been significant in recording
Australia's mammals from between 15 to 25 million years ago.
During the evening he mesmerised the audience with his stories of
bizarre creatures that included tree climbing
crocodiles, flesh eating kangaroos and giant platypus. Professor
Archer explained how the entire Australian and Antarctic landscapes
were similar to today's Amazon and Borneo jungles with abundant
wildlife, rivers and caves.
The Wet Tropics relationship with Riversleigh was captured by Terry
Carmichael who is the Principal Project Officer: Learning
Landscapes/Tourism for the Wet Tropics Management Authority in Cairns.
Terry helped the audience to understand the ancestral
connections and evolutionary history that these World Heritage
properties share, enlightening our appreciation further of their
Outstanding Universal Value. These links and connections had not been
When communicated, these inter connecting stories of past and present
have the potential to enhance the visitor experience by providing new
and interesting ways of interpretation.