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The Great South Australian Fossil Debate

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South Australia is home to a rich fossil heritage, from the earliest big life found anywhere in the world, to the giant wombats and kangaroos that roamed the Adelaide Plains… From the extraordinary predators of the Cambrian oceans, to the plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs that swam in the Eromanga Sea. But which of them is the most significant? What time period in the history of life represented in the South Australian fossil record is the most important? And why?

The Great South Australian Fossil Debate will be an on-line event, broadcast live on August 23rd at 4pm through Dinosaur University, in which four of South Australia's leading palaeontologists will argue in favour of a particular position.

Each palaeontologist will be given seven minutes to make their points, which will then be followed by a panel discussion amongst all four, moderated by world-renowned palaeontologist , and Dinosaur University Dean of Science, Professor Flint.

Following the panel discussion, Prof Flint will take to the stage with several performers from Adelaide Youth Theatre, to sing and tell a story about each of the four time periods.

The four speakers are:

  • Ediacaran: Dr Felicity Coutts, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide
  • Early Cambrian: Associate Professor Diego Garcia-Bellido, University of Adelaide, SA Museum
  • Cretaceous: Professor Mike Lee, Flinders University, SA Museum
  • Pleistocene: Diana Fusco, Flinders University

Members of the public will be encouraged to participate in the conversation, through Dinosaur University, and through various other social media forums, in the lead up to the debate, and in its aftermath. They will also have the opportunity to have their comments included in the live broadcast.