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February 10 2013

Decades of neglect for one of Australia's best fossil deposits

By day, Janet Stephens is a hairdresser at a Baltimore salon, trimming BURIED beneath a dirt road in the middle of the New South Wales central tablelands lie a few thousand of our ancestors. About 370 million years ago, a billabong teaming with ancient fish promptly dried up, preserving an ancient aquarium in layers of earth.

When an Australian Museum palaeontologist, Alex Ritchie, excavated the road in 1993 he unearthed 80 tonnes of material and discovered 4000 fish of eight different species, making the site one of Australia's richest fossil deposits.

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