OPAL BELEMNITE FOSSIL OPLBEL00022
Early Cretaceous, Bulldog Shale Formation, Coober Pedy, South Australia
Support the preservation of rare opal fossils with The Australian Opal Centre!
At the heart of the Australian Opal Centre is a magnificent collection of 110-million-year-old fossils, from a period of time called the Early Cretaceous. It was a time when dinosaurs and other ancient creatures lived in the place we now know as Lightning Ridge, and when great marine reptiles swam in a shallow sea over much ofÂ inland Australia, where the opal mining towns of White Cliffs, Coober Pedy, Andamooka, Mintabie and Lambina now lie.
These are no ordinary fossils (if there is such a thing): these incredible relics are made of solid opal, sometimes with rainbows of shimmering colour. Australia is the only place on Earth where opalised animal fossils are found. These fossils are of global scientific interest and are among the most beautiful and valuable in the world
South Australian Museum Opalised Fossil exhibition is on:
Imagine giant marine reptiles 10m long living and thriving in icy inland seas where there is now only desert. The Opal Fossils Gallery brings these imaginings to life with spectacular opalised fossils from Coober Pedy and Andamooka in the State’s north.
The centrepiece of the gallery is literally a jewel: the opalised skeleton of a 6m long Addyman Plesiosaur. This priceless specimen was found in an opal mine in Andamooka in 1968. It is the finest known opalised skeleton on Earth.
Other exhibits in the Opal Fossils Gallery include a piece of ancient seabed with several hundred opalised shells, fossils from the Moon Plain north of Coober Pedy, and the largest ammonite ever found in Australia, which was originally mistaken for a truck tyre.
The South Australian Museum is holding a major exhibition about opals from 25 September 2015 to 14 February 2016. For more information visit the exhibitions page of this website.