Megafauna Central showcases the unique megafauna that roamed Central Australia 8 million years ago.
Meet the world's largest bird and a fearsome crocodile from the Miocene epoch. Discover fascinating fossils and catch a glimpse of palaeontologists at work in the lab.
21 Todd Street Mall
Open Wednesday – Monday
Open Mon, Wed – Fri: 10am – 4pm
Open Sat – Sun: 10am – 2pm
Closed Monday, 18 December 2023 to Tuesday, 9 January 2024 inclusive.
Reopening Wednesday, 10 January 2024.
The Discovery Centre is open and offers children's activities.
P +61 8951 1113
Closed Tuesdays and Good Friday
Alcoota Scientific Reserve
Megafauna Central showcases the unique megafauna of Central Australia of the Miocene epoch from the Alcoota Scientific Reserve.
Alcoota is an exceptionally rich fossil site located about 150 km north east of Alice Springs, in the centre of Australia. It preserves the abundant bones of 30 species of animal, including many megafauna that were living in the heart of Australia in the late Miocene Epoch, about 8 million years ago when the Australian deserts were just beginning to form.
8 million year old fossils
The fossils are spread over a 200 metre stretch of ground and include the remains of as many as 3000 individual animals that all came to be buried in the same place. Included among these animals was the world’s largest bird, a fearsome crocodile that would be more than a match for the biggest modern salty, marsupial ‘lions’, marsupial ‘wolves’ and herds of giant browsing wombat relatives.
What brought all these creatures to one spot and killed them? What can we learn from them about the evolution of Australia’s unique fauna? Come to Megafauna Central to uncover the mystery.
Australia's oldest Megafauna?
Enhancing the Megafauna story is a new display featuring fossils of the oldest Australian ‘megafauna’ from 450 million years ago. These fossils originated from central Australia when life was still almost entirely confined to the seas. On display are some of the very first animals to evolve to giant size long before animals trod the land and eventually evolve into the megafauna that is the focus of Megafauna Central. The display gives a fascinating insight into how these megafauna evolved, some even outgrowing the average human!
Tim's Journey Back in Time
Join Tim, a young boy from Engawala on a time-travelling journey, as he encounters Australian Megafauna.
‘Tim’s Journey Back in Time’ is a story of adventure and megafauna inspired by the Alcoota fossil dig site which lies a few kilometres from the Engawala Community.
Initially produced into an animated film by MAGNT in 2021 in collaboration with the Engawala Women’s Art Group and Batchelor Institute and narrated in Eastern Anmatyerre, ‘Tim’s Journey Back in Time’ is a delightfully fun journey illustrated through original artwork.
Purchase the book via the Online Shop.
Dr Adam Yates, Megafauna Central. Photo: Shaana McNaught
Alcoota Fossil Reserve. Photo: Emma Murray
Dromornis, Megafauna Central. Photo: Merinda Campbell
Tim's Journey Back in Time produced by Engawala Women's Art Group and the Batchelor Institute.
Tim's Journey, Megafauna Central. Photo: Mark Sherwood