Anglesea flora – a rainforest time capsule

Click to view a larger image. Click to view a larger image. Click to view a larger image. Click to view a larger image.

Plantae specimen.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Plantae specimen.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Cycadaceae specimen.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Plantae specimen.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Tertiary

Around 50 million years ago southern Australia was blanketed in tropical rainforest. Near Anglesea in southern Victoria this rainforest bordered streams crossing a floodplain, and masses of leaves fell onto soft sediments and were quickly covered.

The fossil leaves that were preserved are like a time capsule that reveals what the environment was like. These fossil leaves were extracted from the rock using a specialised technique that preserves their fine detail – complete with internal tissue, looking like a leaf plucked from fresh leaf litter.

A TRAIL THROUGH TIME

Vascular land plants appeared in the Silurian. See how they've changed over time.

BaragwanathiaThinnfeldiaBlack coalHaddon nutsBrown coal

WHERE IT WAS FOUND

Anglesea flora map

These fossil leaves were discovered in Victoria.

RELATED OBJECTS

Other objects from the Tertiary

CarcharoclesNeohelosKambaraJanjucetusHaddon nutsBrown coalQuipollornis

Related Resources

Photograph of a yellow plastic Tyranasaurus Rex