18th August 2015

FossilA 370 million year old fish from Canowindra, with the scientific name Mandageria fairfaxi, has been announced as an official State fossil emblem for NSW.

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts and NSW Nationals Leader and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant announced the fossil's official elevation late last week.

"This declaration recognises the rich scientific heritage that lies beneath our feet," Mr Roberts said.

The Geological Survey of NSW undertook consultation with paleontological experts, cultural associations and institutions to determine a worthy State fossil emblem.

Mandageria fairfaxi is unique to NSW. It measured up to 1.7 metres in length and featured a movable neck that marked a critical stage in vertebrate evolution. 

Mr Grant said: "This fossil builds on Canowindra's reputation as one of the best destinations for paleontology enthusiasts in the world.

"Canowindra is now home to the Age of Fishes Museum, close to where the fossils were originally found 60 years ago and has become a tourism beacon for the region.

"Visitors to this Museum can follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough and actually touch the real fossils of this fish."

Western Australia is the only other Australian State or Territory to have a State fossil emblem.