Richmond is a town of approximately 800 residents in western Queensland, Australia. The town is located on the Flinders Highway, 500 km west of Townsville and 405 km east of Mount Isa. It is the administrative centre of Richmond Shire Council.
The Flinders River forms the northern boundary of the town. Traditionally, the two biggest industries in Richmond are sheep- and cattle-farming, however tourism is an increasingly important aspect of the local economy. In addition to being a major transit stop on the Flinders Highway, recent paleontological discoveries have unearthed the fossils of prehistoric marine creatures, some of which are on display in Richmond.
Richmond came to the attention of all Australians in 1989 when the skeleton of a 100-million-year-old Pliosaur was discovered near the town. It was the second major discovery of an important fossil in the area. The famous Kronosaurus queenslandicus was discovered at Army Downs north of Richmond in 1929 by a team of palaeontologists from Harvard University. The area is rich in fossils as it was once part of Australia’s vast ‘inland sea’.
Built around these finds is Kronosarus Korner – the town’s marine fossil museum, which displays fossil finds from the cretaceous-era inland sea, which existed from about 97.5 to 120 million years ago. Fossilised remains include the Kronosaurus, which was a large Pliosaur. Another fossil is the Richmond Pliosaur (known as Iever’s crocodile), measuring 4.25 metres, with a long slender snout and interlocking teeth. These marine reptiles were fast swimmers feeding on fish and other aquatic animals.