External websites: learn more

Australian fossils

The following websites provide more detailed information on Australian fossils:

General fossil information

The following websites provide general information relating to fossils and paleontology:

Pseudofossils

The following websites provide more detailed information on pseudofossils:

Geological time

The following websites provide more detailed information on geological time:

Uses of fossils in geological interpretation

The following websites provide more detailed information on the uses of fossils in geological interpretation:

Further questions

The following websites can help you answer other questions about fossils:

  • Western Australian Museum: Discovery centre — the Discovery Centre at the Western Australian Museum has resources and staff to help you find out more about rocks, fossils, plants and animals.
  • Australian Museum: Connect with us — the Australian Museum in Sydney has a similar identification service, plus a page listing some previously asked questions to start you off.
  • Ask a Biologist — an online forum directed at primary school children, where biology based questions (including evolution and fossils) will be answered by a biologist. Most of the scientists on this forum are based in the UK. No longer active, but retains archive of previously asked questions.
  • Natural History Museum, London: Nature Plus — an online forum hosted by staff of London’s Natural History Museum, where people can ask questions or upload images of items to be identified.

Fossil collecting and geoheritage

The following websites provide more detailed information on fossil collecting and geoheritage issues:

Western Australian fossil law

In Western Australia, fossicking and fossil collecting is permitted under the following conditions:

  • collectors first obtain a Miner’s Right from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)
  • written permission has been granted when collecting on people’s property or pastoral leases
  • no collecting is to be made on Crown Reserves (e.g. National Parks, State Forest areas, regulated Geoheritage Reserves) without prior written approval from the relevant State or Federal Government agencies. The only exceptions to this are those State Reserves listed as having a Common, Public Utility or Mining purpose.

All collectors are encouraged to bring interesting fossils to either GSWA or the Western Australian Museum for identification. Understanding what fossils are found and where helps scientists better understand the geology of the State and helps government correctly identify and regulate important fossil sites for future generations.

It should be remembered that any Australian fossils sent overseas (even for non-commercial purposes) are subject to Federal Heritage laws. See the Federal Moveable cultural heritage website for more information.

Many of the fossils discussed here, including the Trendall locality ‘egg carton’ stromatolites, can be seen in the Western Australian Museum’s Origins gallery.

Contact
For more information contact:
paleontology@dmirs.wa.gov.au

More information on fossils and paleontology data within GSWA