The ACT already has floral, faunal and mammal emblems; but is now calling all Canberrans to have their say in the first ever ACT fossil emblem.
Joining the party along with Western Australia, South Australia, and New South Wales, the ACT will be the fourth region nationally to boast its own fossil emblem.
The collaboration between Geological Society of Australia, the Australian Marine Sciences Association, Geoscience Australia, and the ACT Government is asking residents to place their vote on one of five finalists.
Geoscience Australia Chief Scientist Dr Steve Hill said putting the ACT fossil emblem to a public vote would instil a sense pride and curiosity in Canberra citizens.
“It creates a connection to our place, and it celebrates that. It says ‘hey we are not just living on the surface of the Canberra district we are developing an intimate understanding of it’,” he said.
“The main reason we put it out to Canberrans is they did a similar thing in South Australia and got a huge response.
“It awakened the inner beast in everyone who hadn’t thought about fossils in this way.”
A group of geoscientists, palaeontologists, and science communicators chose the five finalists fossils up for vote, each with an artist impression for the emblem.
Each finalist is based on a fossil of around 430 million years old, and all have a running theme of marine invertebrates.
Dr Hill said voting had already begun and was receiving a good response.
“Voting is open until the 13 October and that corresponds with Earth Science Week (11-17 October). We opened it as early as we did so we didn’t rush it through and people had time to have a look and pick their favourite,” he said.
“It opened on Monday (7 September) and we checked it on Tuesday morning to see we had about 100 votes already. We are expecting it to keep ramping up.”
Everyone in the ACT is invited to take part in the online vote, with the winning emblem set to be announced on 15 October.
More information on each ACT fossil emblem finalist can be found here.