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Time travelling students

Monday, August 8, 2016

Digital technology will transport students 600 million years back in time to view some of the world’s oldest fossils - found in South Australia.

A new ebook, Ediacaran Fossils of the Flinders Ranges was launched today by the Department for Education and Child Development in partnership with the South Australian Museum as an education resource for secondary students.

The ‘recent’ discovery in South Australia’s picturesque Flinders Ranges resulted in a new prehistoric period having to be created in the geological table – the Ediacaran Period – which covers the time from 630 million to 540 million years ago.

In Ediacaran time, the Flinders Ranges looked very different. It was an inland sea in which the earliest known animals lived on the seafloor.

South Australian Museum Palaeontologist Dr Jim Gehling said there are still so many undiscovered mysteries in the Flinders Ranges.

‘Every trip we do to the Flinders Ranges, we find new material, we get new insights into this very early time of marine ecology, just when simple kinds of animals were starting to interact on the sea floor,’ he said.

‘We’re only beginning to understand what these rocks can tell us about the earliest marine animal life on earth.’

The ebook is now available free from iTunes, through iBooks and contains 31 pages with over 80 images, illustrations of fossils and fossil sites and several videos featuring interviews with scientists.