Canowindra locals have been anxiously awaiting the new purpose built display at the Age of Fishes Museum to store the bulk of the famous fish fossils and it is one step closer.
A representative from the Australian Museum, Branch Manager Life and Geo- sciences, Cameron Slatyer, will be in Canowindra on today to discuss plans for the building, which will see the full collec- tion of more than 200 fossil slabs brought out of the dark and into full public display.
The new display is set to significantly increase visitation with the full collection on display. The scientific community with also benefit from the new development, as it will have a complete examination room.
The new facility at this stage will be cli- mate controlled, allow access to every fossil stored, include a scientific workshop for study on the fossils and have an open exhibition area.
Cabonne Council and the Australian Museum are currently in consultation to transfer the ownership of the fossils to the Australian Museum which will provide the collection with heritage listing and registration. It is hoped this will provide better ongoing funding, development opportunities and ultimately security for the ground- breaking discoveries.
The Age of Fishes Museum provides an ongoing source of tourism for the Community of Canowindra and surrounding areas with 10,000 people visiting the Museum each year.
The Museum perfectly captures and illustrates the remarkable story of the time when air breathing fishes with fins evolved into fishes with feet and our distant ancestors first stepped onto land.
One of the most remarkable discover- ies of its kind anywhere in the world, many thousands of complete fish specimens remain buried at the original site, awaiting excavation. These could well include other animals new to science and possibly even the skeletal remains of some of the earliest known amphibians, our distant ancestors.