Marine fossils uncovered by excavation work at Tocal College, near Maitland, Hunter Valley

The state's Palaeontological Reference Collection contains about 45 000 specimens and is housed at the W B Clarke Geoscience Centre, Londonderry.

Significant sections of the collection are valuable to NSW geological mapping programs. These are the New South Wales plant spores and pollen (palynology) collections and the microfossil collections containing mainly conodonts and foraminifera. They are key biostratigraphic tools providing the basis of the stratigraphy of NSW. Conodonts extracted from limestones and cherts collected during the mapping programs provide precise biostratigraphic constraints to correlation of Palaeozoic strata which hosts many of NSW ore bodies.

The Palaeontological Reference Collection includes extensive, diverse samples from particular stratigraphic horizons and localities, many of which are no longer accessible. Examples include Silurian brachiopods from Molong, Pleistocene marsupials from Bingara, type specimens of many Triassic fish from sites around Sydney which no longer exist, and a large collection of the famous Talbragar fish and plant beds of Jurassic age.

The collection also contains the greatest number of Glossopteris holotypes in the world and numerous type specimens of much published macrofossils.

Agathis jurassica plant fossil from Talbragar near Mudgee. It is related to the modern Wollemi Pine.

Access to the reference collections

Specimens from the Palaeontological Reference Collection are available for loan under stringent conditions, to recognised educational institutions, public museums, industry associations, and mining companies, for the purposes of research or display.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Dr Yong-Yi Zhen, Senior Research Scientist
Phone: (02) 4777 7810
Email: yong-yi.zhen@planning.nsw.gov.au

For further information
Geoscience Information
Phone:
+61 (0)2 4063 6605
geoscience.info@geoscience.nsw.gov.au
Postal:
Geoscience Information, Geological Survey of New South Wales, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
Office:
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map