Eromanga/Cooper Basin Discoveries

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Natural History Society

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‘GIBBA’ the Chelid Turtle

New Cretaceous freshwater turtle specimen nicknamed ‘Gibba’. The fossil consists of a shell from a single individual and is significant as the most complete Cretaceous chelid yet collected in Australia. This particular example is close to being the oldest representative of this group on the continent. The chelid group includes all modern Australian freshwater turtles and their fossils are found here and in South America. ‘Gibba’ is the best preserved example of its kind found to date in Australia.

Profile of Gibba

Fossil of 'Gibba's ShellLocation: Digsite near Eromanga in South West Queensland.

Age: Cretaceous Period.

Size: 20-30 centimetres long.

Type: Freshwater Turtle.

Formation: Winton Formation, Eromanga Basin.

Classification: Chelidae. Dr Ben Kear is currently working on the official classification of ‘Gibba’.

Excavation: Discovered by the Mackenzies in 2009, it was excavated during the June 2010 dig by them and Dr Kear.

Image shows the partially prepared fossil. The top half is still covered by rock while the lower part of the image shows the uncovered shell.