Notes on Adelaide podcast: The Cradle of Life

In the ancient rocks of the Flinders Ranges there is an extraordinary record of early life on Earth. This week, we explore the meaning imprinted in stone and reveal how scientists have created an opportunity for everyone to dive into this globally-significant place.

Dec 07, 2022, updated Dec 07, 2022

In 1946, sharp-eyed geologist Reg Sprigg noticed some strange patterns in the rocks of the Flinders Ranges.

What he had discovered was a groundbreaking fossil record of complex creatures dating back 550 million years.

The Ediacara fossils were – and remain – the earliest record of complex multi-cellular animals on the planet.

While the site is world famous with scientists, many South Australians are unaware of its existence, despite a campaign to have Flinders Ranges world heritage-listed.

That could be about to change, with materials about the fossils and their significance being introduced to the Year 8 curriculum for the first time next year.

And now – for anyone who is interested – you can do a virtual dive into those shallow, warm ancient sees to swim with the Ediacaran creatures.

On the podcast this week, David Washington is joined by InDaily senior journalist Belinda Willis, and  University of South Australia geology professor Tom Raimondo who has led the project to bring these fossils to virtual life.


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Belinda Willis’s reporting for InDaily on this project is here –

The UniSA team’s virtual reality project can be found here –

For more about the Nilpena Ediacara National Park, SALIFE visited earlier in the year –

About Notes on Adelaide

Notes on Adelaide is a weekly current affairs podcast driven by the independent journalism of InDaily, CityMag and SALIFE, and produced by Solstice Podcasting.

New episodes are uploaded weekly. You can find the podcast on InDaily or on your favourite podcast app including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Listen to our previous episodes here.


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