Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith encourages local primary school children to enter the competition to ‘nickname’ the official NSW State fish fossil emblem.
“This is a great opportunity for school children with the winner receiving acknowledgement in NSW Parliament and a limited edition commemorative poster,” said Stuart Ayres.
“The 370 million year old fish, with the scientific name Mandageria fairfaxi, is unique to NSW and is one of the largest fish fossil finds in the world,” Stuart Ayres said.
“It measured up to 1.7 metres in length and featured a movable neck that marked a critical stage in vertebrate evolution.
“It was found in a 1993 excavation near Canowindra in the central west of NSW.
This fossil was located in what was a former billabong that suddenly dried up approximately 370 million years ago, preserving thousands of fish fossils from the Late Devonian period.
Mandageria Fairfaxi was named after a local creek and commemorates the contribution of publisher James Fairfax in supporting research into the fossil fish.
“By raising awareness of fossils and the State’s unique geological history, geotourism across regional NSW will be boosted,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Canowindra is now home to the Age of Fishes Museum, close to where the fossils were originally found 60 years ago and has become a tourism beacon for the region.
“Visitors to this Museum can follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough and actually touch the real fossils of this fish.”
The Waratah remains the official NSW State Floral Emblem while the fossil joins the list of the other existing NSW State Emblems:
State Bird Emblem – the Kookaburra;
- State Animal Emblem – the Platypus;
- State Fish Emblem – the Blue Groper; and
- State Gemstone Emblem – the Black Opal.
The Division of Resources and Energy (DRE) is running the competition with entries closing on Friday 18 September. For more information visit: www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au