26 September 2023

New national park leads ancient life

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The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has opened the State’s new internationally significant fossil park, Nilpena Ediacara, that goes back to the dawn of animal life on earth.

According to NPWS, the new national park is 500km north of Adelaide, near Parachilna, and reveals what life on Earth was like 550 million years ago.

“It is home to the world’s most comprehensive record of Ediacara fossils and the first multi-cellular creatures that ate, moved and sexually reproduced,” NPWS said.

“The new park includes an audio-visual experience that recreates the ancient ocean floor, bringing the fossils to life with the latest 3D animation technology and located within the former blacksmiths shop.”

It said the park takes in the Ediacara Hills and 60,000 hectares of the former Nilpena Pastoral lease.

“It holds an important place within the State’s pastoral heritage and the stone shearing shed, shearers’ quarters and blacksmiths have been restored,” NPWS said.

Executive Director at NPWS, Mike Williams said Nilpena was a dynamic new addition to the already diverse and unique list of national parks in South Australia.

“From day one of this project, NPWS has taken a lead role in ensuring the preservation of the region for all future generations,” Mr Williams said.

“It will lead to new levels of understanding of the world in which we live, highlighting the importance of our efforts in conservation and environmental care.”

He said the area was culturally significant to the Adnyamathanha people who have traditional ceremonial sites, meeting places and middens located along its creek beds.

“To preserve the integrity of the fossils, access to the site is via pre-booked guided tours,” Mr Williams said.

“Nilpena has gained significant international attention from researchers, palaeontologists and conservationists, including from NASA and Sir David Attenborough, and featured in a recent ABC TV and online profile, Set in Stone”.

More information about the new Park can be accessed at this PS News link.

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