Volunteer to dig for dinosaurs!

Published 19 August 2014

You could get a once in a lifetime chance to dig for dinosaur bones alongside world leading researchers at the Dinosaur and Fossil Dig at Lightning Ridge, in October.

The University of New England is partnering with the Australian Opal Centre to offer 20 volunteers the opportunity to join a world-first opalised Dinosaur and Fossil Dig.

UNE’s world-renowned Palaeontologist, Doctor Philip Bell, said this is the first dedicated fossil fossicking expedition in the region.

He hopes to discover rare opalised fossils that could reveal more about ancient Gondwana.

As Dr Bell explains, the Lightning Ridge area is known as the world’s richest source of rare opalised fossils.

“The area is remarkable in that we know that Australia has this incredibly rich source of fossils available, yet it is largely untapped,” Dr Bell said.

“More than a century of mining in the region has turned up thousands of fossils as collateral, contributing the Australian Opal Centre’s already extensive collection, however we know that we have only begun to scratch the surface of this resource.”

Once a volunteer himself, Dr Bell has since led teams of researchers and volunteers on digs around the world, which has unravel some of the mystery of these prehistoric creatures.

“It is a great break from the humdrum of a 9-5 job, to take a real holiday or even find out more about a career path that was once a childhood dream.

“It was volunteering on a dig in Canada that opened my eyes to the possibilities and got me hooked on finding out more and I’ve never looked back.”

Earlier this year, Dr Bell proved the existence of a fleshy ‘cocks-comb’ on a well-known dinosaur species – a discovery that could lead to a far greater understanding of how dinosaurs communicated or chose their mating partners.

“There are no guarantees, but the potential is always there with every new fossil find, to open up entirely new understanding of dinosaurs,” Dr Bell said.

The Australian Opal Centre’s Lightning Ridge Dinosaur and Fossil Dig is on from the 19th to the 23rd of October.

For more information on how to participate, please contact Rebel Black at the Australian Opal Centre on 0419 639 380 or by email to contact@australianopalcentre.com

Please note: The 2014 Lightning Ridge Dinosaur and Fossil Dig has now SOLD OUT!

To join the mailing list for digs in 2015, send an email to contact@australianopalcentre.com with a few words about yourself and a request to join the 2015 Dig mailing list.