Dinosaur tooth discovered

KOONWARRA may become the site of a large scale fossil excavation following the discovery of more prehistoric remnants in the local area.

A 125 million year old Plesiosaur tooth was discovered by a Year 7 St Bedes student Flynn Mayberry in Inverloch last week.

A Plesiosaur was an ancient marine reptile, which some suggest may be the origin of the Loch Ness Monster legend.

The tooth was about one centimetre long.

“Flynn’s find was the first from a visiting student. Conditions were hot and difficult that day at the dig, but his persistence has paid off,” Inverloch palaeontologist Mike Cleeland said.

“Plesiosaurs are one of the creatures that may be discovered at Koonwarra, if sufficient funding can be raised to reopen the dig site in the future.”

The tooth is on its way to the Museum in Melbourne, and Flynn will receive an official certificate of discovery.

A fragment of armour plating from an Ankylosaurid was also discovered in Inverloch last week.

Mr Cleeland said if funding became available for a large scale excavation, complete skeletons may be found in Koonwarra.

Koonwarra has proved on several occasions to be the prime location for prehistoric discoveries.

Koonwarra local Lyn Wilson (nee Bolch) said she and her family had been discovering fossils since well before 1961.

Mrs Wilson’s father Bill Bolch had a 99 year lease on the railway paddock. She recalled exploring the area with the family while growing up.

On top of dinosaur feathers in sandstone rock and several fish fossils, one of their most exciting finds were footprints of a prehistoric bird in Tarwin, of which they have a plaster cast.

“We used to dig in the bank near the river (in Koonwarra) and hunt near the railway bridges; we found all sorts of things,” she said.

Mrs Wilson said she had met with Mr Cleeland, who expressed interest in seeing her collection.

Mr Cleeland said excavation could happen in the next few years. However, a museum at Inverloch with an extended display of local prehistoric discoveries is still a dream of his.

More schools are booked to visit the Inverloch dig site in second term through Bunurong Coast Education, and more digging sessions are planned for the winter school holidays.

Prehistoric: a tooth of this ancient marine reptile, a Plesiosaur was found in Inverloch last week. Illustration courtesy of Andrew Plant.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21244

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