Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Lake Callabonna - A salina

A dry saltpan with little or no vegetation, southeast of Lake Frome, in South Australia. It contains water occasionally, either from local rain or with water from Coopers Creek that reaches it via Strzelecki Creek and Lake Blanche.

Fossils of diprotodonts and other vertebrates, including Mihirungs (dromornithidae), giant flightless birds, have been found in the blue tenacious clay mixed with some sand. This clay is covered with the sand of the fringe of the lacustrine plain. It is seen as islets scattered around the surface. Based on the pollen record at the site, the fossils are believed to be from about 120,000 BP. A Genyornis eggshell from an Aboriginal midden in the Wentworth area has been dated to between 70,000 and 60,000 BP (White, 1994). This date is probably disputed, though I haven't yet found another reference to it.

It is thought to be on a fracture zone.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Mary E White, Running Down, Water in a Changing Land, Kangaroo Press, 2000
  2. Mary E White, After the Greening, The Browning of Australia, Kangaroo Press, 1994
  3. Penny Van Oosterzee, The Centre - The Natural history of Australia's Desert Regions, Reed Australia, 1993
  4. Chris Johnson, Australia's Mammal Extinctions, a 50,000 year history, Cambridge University Press, 2006
  5. Hellen Grasswill & Reg Morrison, Australia, a Timeless Grandeur, Lansdowne, 1981
  6. Peter F. Murray & Patricia Vickers-Rich, Magnificent Mihirungs: The Colossal Flightless Birds of the Australian Dreamtime, Indiana University Press, 2004


  1. Why Mulligan is not just another irish name
  2. Lake Callabonna images
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 30/09/2011


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