Sorry, your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer. Please download their replacement Edge or another modern browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. This site will not be fully functional using Internet Explorer.

Topics > Heritage > Conserving our heritage

An action plan for South Australia’s Ediacaran Fossils

An action plan has been developed to provide a framework on how we can protect South Australia’s unique geological heritage, the Ediacaran Fossils.

The Ediacaran fossils were first discovered in the Ediacaran Hills of the Northern Flinders Ranges in 1946 by geologist Reg Sprigg, the founder of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

Gradually their significance was recognised as being the earliest forms of complex life on Earth.

South Australia is renowned internationally as the source of that discovery and known for the best and most diverse fossil fields on the planet, particularly through discoveries like the Mount Michael fossil field on Nilpena Station south of the Ediacaran Hills.

Further recognition was provided in 2004 when the first geological time period was created in 120 years – the Ediacaran Period – to encapsulate the period from 645 to 542 million years ago. The international reference point for this time period is in South Australia’s Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

The action plan, The First Animal Life on Earth: An Action Plan for South Australia’s Ediacaran Fossils, outlines actions for how we will work together to ensure this legacy is protected, celebrated, and shared with the world.

Further information

For further information about the action plan, email Jason Irving.

Visit one of the world’s great collections of Ediacaran fossils at the South Australian Museum.