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Introduction

The Australian National University (ANU) is custodian of an internationally significant fossil collection documenting many key stages in the evolution of life on earth.

This exhibition highlights one of the most important components of this collection from
a human perspective. The evolution of jaws, teeth, limbs, air breathing, sensory perception, internal fertilisation and more can be traced back 400 million years to a time when fish were the most sophisticated life form

Many of the key fossils in this evoluntionary story come from Australia, and notably from Burrinjuck, near Wee Jasper at the foot of
the Brindabella Ranges, 50 km North West
of Canberra.

Important collections such as these form a crucial part of our permanent physical record, not only as evidence of evolution, but also because they hold clues to the drivers of environmental change. Decoding those clues relies on the discovery of new fossils and the application of new technologies.

In this exhibition an ANU development in 3D
X-ray scanning has been applied to reveal unseen internal anatomy, expanding our understanding of the evolutionary innovations these fossil fishes advanced for all future vertebrate life. Bearing witness to the past, these amazing fossils continue to furnish us
with a deeper insight to our place on this
ever-changing planet.

Presented by: ANU College of Physical
& Mathematical Sciences
Research School of Physics and Engineering
Research School of Earth Sciences.

 


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