2. Koolasuchus

Introducing the ancient Cretaceous amphibian, Koolasuchus cleelandi. Find out more about Victoria’s state fossil emblem, fossil red and white blood cells in the ichthyosaur Stenopterygius and hear from discoverer of the holotype specimen Mike Cleeland and fossil preparator Lesley Kool OAM

5/24/202321 min read

Today on the show, we are talking about the iconic amphibian, Koolasuchus cleelandi. If you haven't heard of it before, don't worry, I'm gonna bring you up to speed on the animal that was voted in as Victoria's State Fossil Emblem. Pals in Paleo presents Koolasuchus.

I'd like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land throughout Australia, in particular the Bunurong People, and recognise their connections to land, sea and community. Pals in Palaeo pays our respects to the Elders past, present and emerging, and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. This episode was recorded on Koa country, in Winton, central western Queensland, and fossils of Koolasuchus were found on Boonwurrung country, near San Remo in south east Victoria.

This is pals in palaeo your friendly neighbourhood palaeontology podcast. I'm your host, paleontologist and PhD student Adele Pentland. You can stay up to date with the show by following us on Instagram @palsinpalaeo spelt P-A-L-A-E-O


Before we wade into the murky waters of coastal Victoria, some 125 million years ago, we've got to warm up and start off with our Random Fossil Fact.

Sometimes the random fossil fact is tangentially related to the main topic of each episode, but today I went rogue and wanted to bring you something completely different. Today's random fossil fact is on an ichthyosaur from the Jurassic, with what look like, fossilised red and white blood cells. You know, those tiny cells in our blood that transport oxygen and fight off infection and disease? Yeah, mind-blowing stuff.

This exceptional fossil was collected from the Posidonia Shale, in southwest Germany. The site is a pretty famous fossil site and is what's known as a fossil Lagerstätte. Sorry my German is terrible, I didn't study it at high school much to the disgust and disappointment of my mother, but that word basically means there's heaps of fossils that are beautifully preserved, even down to the microscopic level.

Specifically, this team of researchers studied a specimen of the Jurassic ichthyosaur Stenopterygius which was preserved in a concretion. The easiest way to think of a concretion is that it's a bit like a pearl which started out as a grain of sand and then was coated and covered in layers of material. A concretion is, I suppose it's a type of rock which forms around a fossil and in some cases, roughly follows the general shape of the fossil on the inside. I guess they're also like a chocolate covered almond in that regard.

Anyway, I'm prone to getting distracted by food. clears throat This fossil was snap frozen in this concretion, and using a special type of microscope, a scanning electron microscope, they studied one of the vertebra. This single bone was jam-packed full of information. Not only did they find red and white blood-cell like structures using this high powered microscope, they were also able to extract cholesterol. Based on the relatively small size of the red blood cells and the carbon isotopes of the cholesterol, Stenopterygius was adapted for diving into the depths of the ocean. The reason why they think that, is because deep ocean environments have less oxygen compared to marine reefs close to the surface. But, if you have many small red blood cells, that would provide a lot more surface area for oxygen to stick onto, compared with large red blood cells. Ichthyosaurs are also known for having relatively large eyes, which would have helped them see in the dark depths of the ocean where sunlight struggles to reach. There isn't a lot of plants that can grow below the photic zone, so Stenopterygius was hunting and actively pursuing prey.

This is research that was published in Nature in 2017 by Plet and colleagues, and I first learned about it last year in 2022 when one of the co-authors on the paper Professor Kliti Grice gave a presentation at one of our dinosaur digs. Before that I had no idea you could study fossil cholesterol and related molecules in fossil specimens, or that red and white blood cells, or at least, the shape of those cells could preserve in fossils so old. Just to put this in perspective, the ichthyosaur they studied is Jurassic in age, so 182.7 million years old. You know the phrase, as old as the hills? This fossil is even older than the hills we have round home.

I wanted to plug this research because 1) it's insanely cool cutting edge science and 2) I'm now working with Professor Kliti Grice and her lab at Curtin University. My project is more or less the same, but the plan is to finish up my PhD at Curtin and hopefully dip my toes into the wonderful world of Geochemistry, shoot some lasers as some fossil specimens and learn more about the environment was like and how these animals lived their lives, based on the lab results.

We can also learn a lot about a fossil from studying its form, to learn how it functioned within its environment. And on that note, let's get into the form and function of the star of today's episode, Koolasuchus cleelandi.

Since Koolasuchus belongs to an extinct order of amphibians called temnospondyls, we'll start with form, get familiar with what this animal looks like and then talk about it's role in the ancient Cretaceous forests of Victoria.

The amphibians that are alive today frogs, salamanders and newts are relatively small, at least in our eyes. Amphibians haven't always been small though. If we go back, millions of years ago there were massive amphibians.

Temnospondyls are an ancient group of amphibians, and their fossils are best known from the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic periods. Most went extinct by the end of the Triassic, BUT there are a few Jurassic and Cretaceous temnospondyls that hung around. Spoiler alert, even among temnospondyls, Koolasuchus is a weird one and possibly one of the last members of this now extinct order of amphibians.

Throughout their evolutionary history, which is more than 200 million years, temnospondyls just about conquered every aquatic environment available to them, including freshwater, venturing into the coastal marine waters and are known from terrestrial environments. Since these are amphibians though, they would've needed to return to the water in order lay their eggs, since their eggs don't have a hard shell so if they're laid on land, they'll simply dry out and won't hatch. I mentioned before that temnospondyls are giant amphibians, but let's talk about what they look like and how to spot Koolasuchus.

Koolasuchus looks a bit like, a salamander on steroids, and I say that with utmost respect and love, because this extinct amphibian is named after two people I greatly admire and respect. I'll get to the science behind the name of this creature in a second but I've still got to paint you a word picture and explain what it looks like.

It has four legs in a sprawling gait, so a bit more like a lizard with their legs held out to the side. It's sometimes shown with a big tadpole tail, but just keep in mind we don't know that much about the anatomy of the tail. This is an animal that spent a lot of time in the water though, so it makes sense that it would have a powerful tail adapted for swimming and propelling itself through water. We see this today with modern day crocs, if you look on YouTube you can find videos shot underwater showing I think it's a saltwater croc with it's front feet lifted off the muddy bottom, it's back feet touching down every so often, and the tail doing almost all of the work. Mind you it's a little bit easier to do this when you have a pointy croc snout, which is where Koolasuchus differs.

Koolasuchus has a round head about as big as a wheelie bin, which if you're not Australian is what we call our rubbish bins. If you still have no idea what I'm talking about, their head is about the size of a toilet seat. The total length of the body was approximately 3 metres length or 9.8 ft and this animal would've weighed 500 kilograms or 1,100 lb. If Koolasuchus was alive today I reckon it's common name would be the giant shovel-headed newt or something like that. Again, keep in mind it's not a newt but in my defence, common names are often a bit misleading and more descriptive rather than taxonomically accurate.

Not only did Koolasuchus have a big broad head, unlike most amphibians you're familiar with, Koolasuchus had some pretty serious looking teeth.

These teeth are roughly spike-shaped and have grooves and ridges. These grooves and ridges aren’t vertical and straight, if you look closely at them, they’re more like a maze, which is why Koolasuchus and other related amphibians used to be called, “labyrinthodonts”, bute more on that in a minute. As palaeontologist and fossil preparator Lesley Kool explains, these ridges and grooves are part of the tooth itself

Lesley: “And if you look at a cross-section through one of these teeth under the microscope, the enamel is sort of, infolded, very much like a maze”

Adele: These teeth and the way they sit in the lower jaws, or mandibles, also make it easy to distinguish Koolasuchus from dinosaurs, as Lesley explains:

Lesley: “I started exposing the top of the jaw, and exposing the teeth, and once the teeth were exposed, we realised quite quickly they weren’t dinosaur teeth. They were obviously growing out of the top of the jaw, they weren’t in sockets.

Adele: At this stage you might be thinking, "OK, it's a big salamander with a big head, big woop Adele". Koolasuchus and temnospondyls in general are kinda weird on the outside, but wait, they are even weirder on the inside.

Do you know how most bone is smooth in texture? Yeah, nah temnospondyl skulls are weirdly textured. And by weirdly textured, I mean it kinda looks like if spiderman shot a web at it. The bones themselves aren't that weird, but the outside surface has a series of ridges that spread out and are connected kind of like what a spiderweb looks like?

If that sounds like complete and utter hogwash, or you're not familiar with spiderman or silly string, but you do know a thing or two about the cranial anatomy of crocodile skulls, Lesley's explanation and comparison will hopefully make a bit more sense to you.

Lesley: “And then course once I started working down the side of the jaw and coming across all that amazing ornamentation, which is very much like the ornamentation you see on the jaw of a crocodile, soon as I saw that and told my colleagues, we all got very excited and realising this could be… well at the time we called it a labyrinthodont because that was the terminology back in the 1990s, that’s now of course changed and they’re now called temnospondyls. But yeah, once I exposed some of the ornamentation we realised we had something different.

Adele: OK so I wasn’t planning on getting into this but since both Lesley brought it up, let’s talk a bit about what Labyrinthodonts are. “Labyrinthodont” is a term that isn’t used a hell of a lot these days, but essentially, if it was extinct four-legged, and lived like a croc, it was considered a Labyrinthodont. So it's a group of animals, but nowadays, we use the term Temnospondyl instead.

'Labyrinthodont' refers to the gnarly texture of the teeth. The teeth have grooves on them, but they’re not just straight up and down, like the rest of the skull they are highly ornamented, and in fact, labryinthodont literally means “maze tooth”.

In case you're wondering, the reason behind this taxonomic rebrand is because labyrinthodonts are what’s called a paraphyletic group, so it’s a group that includes animals that look similar, but they’re not all that closely related. The most famous paraphyletic group, is Reptilia – which we’re all familiar with, it’s scaley things, yeah? Think turtles, tuatara from New Zealand, lizards, snakes, crocs and dinosaurs! But it gets complicated because we now know that some dinosaurs had feathers, and birds are dinosaurs so… that means Reptilia is kind of a grab bag term… Anyway, paraphyletic groups aren't super scientific so it's considered best practice to avoid them where possible.

And for that reason, I’ll be referring back to Koolasuchus as a type of temnospondyl from here on out.

Koolasuchus cleelandi was described and named in 1997 by Anne Warren, Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich.

And honestly, who better to describe this incredible fossil, than an expert in temnospondyls?

Lesley: Once the jaws were prepared, they were then given to Dr Anne Warren at La Trobe University who is an expert in temnospondyls and it took her, she said 3 months to convince herself, firstly that they were temnospondyls, and secondly that they belonged to the same individual because they’re preserved so totally differently.

Adele: Part of the reason why they look so different is because the jaws were no longer in situ or in their life position. They had actually been moved relative to one another, and this was something that Mike Cleeland, the person who discovered the holotype specimen of Koolasuchus noticed when he found the fossil on the beach.

Mike: They were not in the position that they would have been in real life, they had become slightly disarticulated and one was crossed over the other.

Adele: Still, despite the challenges of preparing this fossil, it was well worth it. Not only did it represent a new species, but it extended the temnospondyl fossil record by millions of years. And as Lesley points out, it’s pretty different compared to the other fossils known from the Cretaceous of Victoria.

Lesley: Once I started I realised that we had something which was much bigger than we’d had before and something that we’d never found before, so it was pretty exciting!

Adele: If you’re interested in reading the paper which named Koolasuchus as a new species, this paper is publically available and in open access. Just go into Google Scholar, or do what I do and type Google Scholar into Google and then search for Koolasuchus and it'll pop up. Even if you don't like super science terms but you're interested in seeing what the fossil itself looks like, there are some gorgeous illustrations of the holotype specimen and the elements of the skull are pretty gorgeous. If you live in Melbourne or are planning on visiting soon you can also see this fossil on display, it's on the first floor alongside the other Australian fossils and not too far away from their new superstar the Triceratops specimen.

Koolasuchus was named in honour of two Australian palaeontologists, and I've had the pleasure of working in the field with both of them. We’ve already heard from both of them, they are Lesley Kool and Michael Cleeland. Lesley and Mike have made some incredible contributions to palaeontology down in Victoria, Mike being a local on Phillip Island has spent a lot of time prospecting for fossils along the Cretaceous coastline and Lesley has prepared countless fossils in conjunction with Melbourne Museum.

Lesley was also awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of her years of work and contribution made to the field of palaeontology. They've both been involved with the Dinosaur Dreaming digs for years and years, Lesley has been a dig coordinator and organiser, and Mike's been on... I don't know how many digs. Mike has also spent a lot of time showing school groups what to look for when prospecting along the Victorian coast and working on other outreach programs.

They’ve both achieved so much, and it’s hard not to think of them when Koolasuchus comes up in conversation. Here’s what it was like, when Mike discovered his most important fossil to date, the holotype specimen of Koolasuchus cleelandi.

Lesley: Mike had been finding fossils along the coastline for over a year at that time. And when he said he’d found something that he thought was pretty exciting, a group of us went down because it looked like we were going to need to cut a fairly big block, out of the rock.

Mike: When I first found Koolasuchus, I initially thought it was a tree. I thought it was a big piece of petrified wood. I’d never seen a piece of fossil bone that big, so it took a while to convince myself that it actually was a piece of fossil bone.

And it wasn’t until I got down on hands and knees and had a close look at it under the magnifying glass, that I could see the labyrinthine infolding exposed in the cross-sections through the teeth. And that was the thing that finally convinced me that it was a jaw bone from a temnospondyl amphibian.

Adele: So Mike found the holotype specimen which defines the species Koolasuchus, and little bit of a tangent on Mike. So I am doing my PhD at the moment and I recently had some fossils on loan from Melbourne Museum. Anyway I was looking through them and on a few of the specimen labels, low and behold a couple of the bones were found and donated by Mike. A couple years before I was born.

But yeah, the Koolasuchus cleelandi holotype specimen is arguably the biggest contribution he’s made to date.

Anything that we think might be Koolasuchus must be compared against the holotype specimen, but we actually have multiple fossils for this species, and the first was discovered in 1978 by THE Tim Flannery who is best known for his work as an environmentalist and later went on to become Australian of the Year.

Mike: Flannery found this piece of bone embedded in the rock which he extracted and brought in to the museum in Melbourne for analysis and for a long time, nobody was able to identify it. It appeared to be a fragment of a jaw bone, but it had unusual markings on it reminiscent of a temnospondyl amphibian and for a long time, nobody was prepared to accept that it could have been a temnospondyl amphibian jaw bone because they were presumed to be extinct. Eventually subsequent discoveries have shown that there really were many examples of Cretaceous temnospondyls here in South Gippsland, and Flannery, actually found the first of them.

Adele: Because that first specimen was quite fragmentary, it couldn't be positively identified

and to be honest, no one was expecting to find evidence of this ancient lineage of amphibians, the temnospondyls in the Cretaceous, million and millions of years after they were thought to have gone extinct. In fact, it was so strange and weird it earned the nickname GOK, but I’ll let Mike explain what that means.

Mike: I’d heard about the ‘GOK’ . The GOK is an acronym of G-O-K which stands for “God Only Knows” but the GOK is only 30 or 40cm long. What I found at Rowel’s Beach was 67cm long or so, so I realised at the time that this was not only significantly bigger than what Tim Flannery had found, but could actually turn out to be a new species

Adele: And of course, as we all know now, it was in fact a new species and an incredibly important one at that.

The name Koolasuchus cleelandi honours both Mike and Lesley, but there’s more to it than that.

Mike: I thought it was very fitting to have Koolasuchus cleelandi named jointly after myself and Lesley Kool, Lesley as the person who did the preparation and myself who actually found the type specimen. I do point out that Lesley did most of the work, it didn’t take long to actually find the thing, I was doing a day or 2 a week prospecting in the area, but Lesley spent weeks and weeks and weeks on end, preparing the jaw bones of Koolasuchus which eventually became the type specimen.

Koolasuchus cleelandi is a bit of a play on words, the ‘Kool’ bit refers to Lesley Kool who did the preparation, managed to extract it from the rock. It also refers to cool climate, because at the time that it was alive, Australia was still down on the edge of Antarctica, so it would have been a much cooler climate than what we’re experiencing today.

Adele: As I mentioned at the start of the episode, as of 2022 Koolasuchus was voted in as Victoria's state fossil emblem.

The win came as a surprise to both Lesley and Mike, but they couldn’t be prouder

Mike: It was quite a thrill to have Koolasuchus selected as Victoria’s Fossil Emblem. I thought that Koolasuchus was really just a cold-blooded, slimy-skinned amphibian that wouldn't really capture the public imagination, but perhaps for those reasons, it actually has.

Adele: I think the whole process of selecting a state fossil kind of helped lift some spirits and was a welcome distraction since the campaign launched at the height of covid when Melbourne and other parts of Victoria were in the midst of a pretty intense lockdown. I realise that not everyone loves fossils as much as I do, but I think you know, getting people involved and learning about the fossils that are found down in Victoria was a welcome reprieve during a really tough time.

In total there were 12 fossils short-listed which people could vote for, I won't list them all here but keep an ear out, I might do an episode on another one of these very soon. If you've got your phone handy, you can still find all 12 nominees on the Melbourne Museum website and I think there was even a custom Instagram filter that you could use to see which fossil best suited you.

Anyway, we've heard a bit about Koolasuchus rising to the top to become Victoria's state fossil emblem, we talked a bit about the form of this animal but let's get into our second category, which is function.

Anyone who has experience with frogs or any other amphibian for that matter may be familiar with the way they eat, i.e. see bug, eat bug. It's safe to assume that prehistoric amphibians approachee life in much the same way, which is eatting whatever they could fit inside their mouth. Unlike a lot of amphibians today though Koolasuchus has the added advantage of having some serious gnarly looking teeth. From memory some species of frog don't have teeth at all, and I'm fact, most actually use the downward pressure of their eyeballs to push against the roof of their mouth and help them swallow. Honestly, when I first heard that fact, I didn't know whether to be grossed out or impressed.

Again, bit of a weird tangent but I think you can see where I'm going with this. Imagine yourself face to face with an animal, maybe 3m long, with a head as big as a bin lid in an ancient river.

Koolasuchus was most likely an ambush predator, filling the same ecological niche or role in its environment as modern day crocs and gators.

The Melbourne Museum stat sheet says that Koolasuchus preyed on small dinosaurs, turtles and fish BUT we don't have direct evidence of this behaviour so at this stage, that's our best guess. Since freshwater plesioaurs are also known at the Dinosaur Cove site, it might have been able to scavenge on these aquatic reptiles and young plesiosaurs are another possible prey item. Even though crocodiles were around in the Cretaceous, it seems that Koolasuchus wasn't feeding on young or juvenile crocs for one simple reason: they didn't share the same space.

Koolasuchus and temnospondyl fossils more broadly are known from several sites on the Victorian coast, including Dinosaur Cove near Cape Otway, as well as sites scattered between Cowes and Inverloch including the Punchbowl site, Blackhead site and Flat Rocks. Crocs are absent from all these sites, and but their fossils have been found at sites that are slightly younger.

Something seems to be going on here: perhaps temnospondyl preferred colder environments whereas crocs didn't, but when the climate warmed up in the lead up to an event dubbed the mid-Cretaceous thermal maximum, crocs might have then been able to conquer new environments and outcompete Koolasuchus. It's also possible that in addition to crocs muscling into the temnospondyls old territory, crocs could've fed on Koolasuchus eggs and young.

Now that we've talked about the form and function of this animal I want to take some time to zoom out and get a glimpse at the bigger picture, and talk about the ancient landscape, dive into what the palaeoenvironment was like 125 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous. When Koolasuchus lived in Victoria in southeastern Australia, the Earth was a very different place. The bottom end of Australia was at a much higher latitude, and we know this based on palaepmagnetic data which is just a fancy way of saying scientists analysed magnetic rocks and are able to correlate where they formed in relation to the Earth's megalithic field. All this to say, Victoria was we within the polar circle during the Early Cretaceous. There wasn't a permanent ice sheet over the continent, but if you've seen 30 Days of Night, you'll know that living near the poles is intense, with or without vampires. Victoria was covered in cool temperate forests with conifers, ginkgoes, ferns and a bunch of other plants, but there was also months of continuous darkness during some parts of the year. On the flip side, there was also periods of continuous sunlight, which is what we see at the North and South Pole today. There really isn't anything like it today where you have these lush green forests teeming with life that then have to survive months of perpetual darkness. I remember learning about it during undergrad and the idea of these conifer forests populated by dinosaurs, these weird amphibians, pterosaurs with the Aurora Australis, the southern lights in the sky above, it really captured my imagination and has stayed with me.


We've talked about form and function, now let's dive into the family grouping of Koolasuchus. Like most things we talk about on the show, the broader group which this animal belonged to, is extinct. Broadly speaking Koolasuchus is an amphibian and it belongs the Order Temnospondyli, hence why I've been using the term "temnospondyl". More specifically, Koolasuchus belongs to the Superfamily Brachyopoidea, and is in the Family Chigutisauridae. If I've mispronounced either the superfamily or family name, by all means, @ me. This is one of those situations where I've only seen the word written and haven't heard it uttered during lectures or by other palaeos so I've got no idea how I've gone with it. Based on what I read in the Warren et al. 1997 paper, the Brachyopoidea were the only temnospondyls to survive past the Triassic extinction boundary. The closest relatives of Koolasuchus are other members of the Chigutisauridae, and after the Triassic, they're only known from parts of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, specifically South America, India and Australia.

Aside from now being the state fossil for Victoria, Koolasuchus rose to fame in 1999 with an appearance in Walking with Dinosaurs. You'd think that as someone who's obsessed with dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, and being born in the early 90's that Walking with Dinosaurs would be a major part of my childhood, right? Quite the opposite. For whatever reason, I didn't see it and STILL haven't seen it, other than maybe the first episode because a mate of mine, César, shout out to César wanted to watch it when he stayed with us whilst doing his vet placement. If you're keen to watch it yourself, or you just want to relive Walking with Dinosaurs, Koolasuchus appears in episode 5 which is called 'Spirit of the Ice Forests' alongside the ornithopod dinosaurs Leaellynasaura and Muttaburrasaurus, pterosaurs and the shrew-sized mammal Steropodon.

I don't think Melbourne Museum sell any Koolasuchus related merch in their shop, which is a bit of a shame since I'd definitely love cuddling next to a temnospondyl plushie but there was a Koolasuchus Yowie. If you're not familiar with what a Yowie is, it's a type of chocolate goodies we have here in Australia. I also mentioned them in the Anomalocaris episode, but basically, imagine an Easter egg with a capsule inside which contains a toy which you have to assemble, complete with it's very own an info sheet. Unlike Walking with Dinosaurs, Yowie was an integral part of my childhood, we still have all ours somewhere and even though they went away for a bit they're back again, teaching a new generation of kids to learn and care about the animals and the environment and I could not be more excited.

The last pop culture tidbits I have for you actually come from Mike Cleeland himself.

Mike: I have to say, when I first found those jaw bones and when Koolasuchus was first described, I had no idea that it was going to become so popular, not only in Victoria but nationally and internationally. In fact, I see that there’s Koolasuchus represented on the latest Jurassic World computer game, where Koolasuchus is doing backflips.

That's it, that's about all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode, hopefully I've shown you that Australian animals have kept up their deadly reputation for millions of years, and given you yet another reason not to go into the water.

Don't forget to you can find Pals in Palaeo on Instagram and check out what Koolasuchus looked like. I'll try and post photos of the holotype lower jaws and probably post my favourite palaeo reconstruction of Koolasuchus by the one, the only Peter Trusler. I've gotten to work with Peter doing some scientific consulting work on the 2022 dino stamp and coin series released by Australia Post, and he's a master of his craft.

Seriously, he is one of the most dedicated artists I know. I was chatting to a friend Jack O’Connor the other day about the Koolasuchus palaeo reconstruction the other day and apparently Peter’s wife cut out hundreds of paper leaves to help guide his painting.

Knowing that little fact just makes me fall in love with that palaeoart even more, Peter has Koolasuchus partially submerged in water with ginkgo leaves floating on the surface and the head of this animal cheekily poking out.

If you haven't already, do yourself a favour and check it out.

Thanks so much for listening so much for trusting me with your valuable time, I hope you learned something or at the very least you didn't die of boredom. Shoutouts to our guests Lesley Kool and Mike Cleeland, as well as Dr Anne Warren, Dr Tom Rich and Professor Pat Vickers-Rich and all the Dinosaur Dreaming dig volunteers, without your work we wouldn't have this truly bizarre and otherworldly fossil for Victoria's state emblem.

On that note, I'm going to throw to Lesley one last time for a special thank you to the Dinosaur Dreaming volunteers who've helped out over the last 40 years.

Lesley: Without our volunteers, none of this would have happened. You know, Mike and I are certainly very aware that we get a lot of support from a lot of people and we certainly couldn't do it on our own, so, it's not just for me, it's for all the hundreds of volunteers that we've had.

Adele: As someone who has volunteered on Dinosaur Dreaming myself, I couldn't agree with Lesley more. The digs have been so successful because of teamwork and I want to say thank you to everyone on Dinosaur Dreaming that showed me the ropes in the early days. I super appreciate you making me feel welcome.

Thanks to César for editing and producing our show, our theme music is by Hello Kelly and all other tunes are from Hello Kelly. You can check out their latest album Sweet Nostalgia on Spotify and just about anywhere you get new music

Again, thanks so much for listening, Pals in Palaeo will be back soon with another episode, but until then, keep in touch, let me know what you think of the show, and we'll talk soon.

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