Flinders Palaeontology Guest Speakers in Biodiversity

Why don’t we still have marsupial lions and diprotodons in Australia? This question is the basis for the first learning focus for students in the Biodiversity Central Study. Students are exploring the debate that occurs amongst palaeontologists as to the role climate change, human predation or disease had in causing the extinction. As a part of this investigation students participated in workshops on Monday with Dr Aaron Camens and PhD candidate (and ASMS alumni) Fraser Brown from Flinders University’s Palaeontology Department. 

Aaron and Fraser gave students access to the latest way in which palaeontologists share data, via high resolution 3D scans of fossils, allowing close examination of skull shape and dental wear to explore diet. From this, conclusions can be drawn as to how climate and vegetation patterns would have impacted animal populations. Core to this unit is building the ability of students to assess the quality of scientific information and to critically select appropriate sources to support their argument.