Crocodile fossils uncovered during construction in Brisbane

CROCODILES roaming Brisbane. Sound far fetched? About 50 million years ago it was true.

Fossils uncovered during the construction of a rail crossing in the Brisbane suburb of Geebung are estimated to be from that period.

They include bones from ancient crocodiles, plus remnants of fish, shells and impressions of plants.

The remains were found within a layer of rock about a month ago, about 15m underground.

For palaeontologists - those who study the prehistoric world - the discovery gave them a hint at what else lay beneath the concrete of Brisbane's urban sprawl.

Queensland Museum Network chief executive Professor Suzanne Miller said there were few sites of this vintage available for study.

"Similar aged sites in the greater Brisbane area are often no longer accessible due to housing and urban development," Prof Miller said.

She said palaeontologists had never before had a reason to closely examine the area.

Without the construction teams striking the find it may never have been discovered.

Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson said engineers would work with the University of Queensland and the Queensland Museum to ensure no other artefacts were placed at risk.

The overpass project is not expected to be delayed by the historic find.

It is due to be finished by 2014.


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