Monday, 28 January 2013

BBC Coast

The BBC Coast producers have decided no to film at Flat Rocks after all.  The timing just didn't work for them.  Oh well, that's Show Biz!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

How dinosaurs had sex

Residents of Melbourne might be interested in attending this month's Smart Bar at the Melbourne Museum this Thursday.  Dr Erich Fitzgerald is scheduled to talk about what the fossil record can tell us about how dinosaurs and other extinct animals had sex.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

BBC Coast

We have been approached by the producers of a well-known BBC TV series called "Coast" who want to come and film the dig.  We'll be part of the documentary on the Bass Coast.  I'll post the Australian screening date here when I know it - but these things are months in production so don't be too impatient!

Only one week to go!

Only one week to go until we hit the beach at Flat Rocks.  Of course, with low tide at 10:48 on Saturday 2nd and all of the settling in stuff we need to do, perhaps we won't hit the beach for particularly long until Sunday 3rd.
A reminder to volunteers that we want you at the house by 10:00 am on your starting Saturday and to everyone else that Friend's day is on Sunday 17th (not a friend? join here).

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Namibian rangeomorph

Those of us particularly fond of dinosaurs, or even more broadly vertebrate palaeontology, were puzzled a few years ago when dig volunteer David Elliot and scientist Pat Vickers-Rich started spending their time looking at the soft-bodied animals of the pre-Cambrian.  But those animals have turned out complex and very pretty indeed.  Check out the Peter Trusler reconstuction on the cover of the Jounal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Koolasuchus image

Koolasuchus fans should check out the new images by Jacek Major at  Most of you know that our temnospondyl Koolasuchus Cleelandi was found near San Remo in 1978 and named a decade later after Lesley Kool and Mike Cleeland, who will both be found lookig for more fossils at Flat Rocks in February.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New Blog by Travis Park

Readers of this blog might enjoy the palaeontological musings of dig volunteer Travis Park.  His new blog discusses all sorts of fossils, with a focus on Australian research and the things Travis is working on.  Our dig has not got a mention yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Monday, 14 January 2013

New contact details for Friends of Dinosaur Dreaming

Friends of Dinosaur Dreaming may now be contacted at:

Friends of Dinosaur Dreaming
c/- School of Geosciences
Building 28, Clayton Campus
Monash University 3800

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Fossil Penguins

Dig volunteer Travis Park has written a review of Australian fossil penguins with Museum Victoria's Dr Erich Fitzgerald.  Check it out at

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New book by Dr Tony Martin

Tony Martin, who has described footprints and burrows from the Victorian Cretaceous has a new book out - Life Traces of the Georgia Coast.  And books have trailers these days - check it out at

Monday, 7 January 2013

From the Archives - Croc Blocks

A Croc Block with a skull we nicknamed Gladys
Mary works on the block in 2004
One of the other projects that some members of Dinosaur Dreaming crew have been working on is Croc Blocks.
In 2003, Museum Victoria was contacted by the owners of an oil shale mine outside Gladstone.  They had uncovered a large number  of 40 million year old turtle and crocodile fossils.  A team was sent up and spent 3-4 weeks excavating 37 blocks of fossil material. They brought them back to the museum and Monash University for processing.  Volunteers from both institutions have been figuring out what is in them ever since.  In 2005, Lucas Buchanan identified the crocodile as belonging to the genus Mekosuchinae.

From the Archives - 100th Anniversary

Tom and Lesley with the Cape Paterson Claw
Mike Cleeland as Bill Ferguson (with Nick)
100th birthday cake
"Bill Ferguson" holding court
I've been converting my old snaps into digital images and came across some of our celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the first dinosaur bone found in Australia.  For those who don't know the story, on 7th May 1903 Bill Ferguson found a dinosaur bone near Eagle's Nest whilst mapping the coast and prospecting for coal.  He tentatively identified it as a tooth but, once experts got a look, it became known as the Cape Paterson Claw.
We don't know if Mr Ferguson really wore a kilt whilst prospecting, but he was of Scottish origin...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

2013 Field Season

Plans for the 2013 Flat Rocks Field Season are well underway.  We've locked on a very big crew roster, with lots of experienced returnees and some very enthusiastic newbies,  The dig starts on Saturday February 2nd, but the low tide is fairly early in the morning so we will probably send only a very small advance party to site.   Friends day is slated for Sunday February 17th (Not a friend? Join here.), and the dig finishes up on Saturday February 23rd (although we will packing up the house and not at site that day).
As regular readers of this blog are aware, we can only work on site 3-4 hours either side of low tide, so if anyone is wanting to wander past us on the beach to see what we're doing should contact the Bunurong Environment Centre or the Inverloch Visitor Information Centre to figure out when we are likely to be working.

The plans for the Cape Otway dig are not yet finalised, but it is likely to be a 10 day dig starting Saturday March 16th.  This site is significantly less accessible than the Flat Rocks one.

Monash Science Centre Closing

Many Dinosaur Dreaming diggers and friends will have heard that the Monash Science Centre is closing on 30 January (see the MSC site).  A big thanks to the assistance that the MSC has given Dinosaur Dreaming over many years, including administering the Friends of Dinosaur Dreaming.  We'll let existing Friends know of the new admin arrangements once we finalise them.  And anyone thinking of becoming a Friend should join right away, check this blog for the latest information, or join at site on Friends Day on Sunday February 17th.