Lucky fossil find in Gympie backyard
THERE was one piece in particular that caught Christopher Plowman's eye when he was out working in his Long Flat backyard.
Holding it up in the sun, the milky-white pattern of a fossilised crustacean shell shines out against the sediment.
"I was out using the rocks to prevent erosion for the dam in my backyard and the pattern just stood out to me,” Mr Plowman says.
"It was clear it wasn't just a pattern on the rock - and that's when I thought to really have a closer look at everything else I was about to throw back into the water.”
It was a lucky decision, Christopher admitted as he revealed the back tray of his truck - full of petrified items.
The fossils appear to be the remains of crustaceans and other water-dwelling animals, evidenced by a recurring shell pattern seen throughout the finds.
"I've had a chat to some hobbyists with an interest in this stuff,” Mr Plowman says, pointing to a strange formation on a piece of slate.
"From what they've told me, this is basically the point on a crab or a crustacean's shell where two sides have fused together.”
The exact age of the finds isn't known, but he'll be taking them to experts at the Winton's Age of Dinosaurs Museum to find out for sure.
Christopher is surprised they weren't uncovered sooner, considering Gympie's mining history.
"We've only moved onto the property quite recently, from what we know the previous owner had removed a lot of topsoil, which is where I guess a lot of this stuff has been brought closer to surface,” he says.
Would this backyard discovery lead Mr Plowman to a new-found passion for palaeontology?
Probably not, but he said he would definitely be taking a closer a look in his backyard in the near future.
"It makes you wonder just how many fossils and specimens could be hiding out, just below the surface,” he says.
"I won't just be throwing rocks into the dam any more, chances are there's a whole lot more to find.”