SLE395 - Palaeobiology

Year: 2018 unit information
Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne)
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value:


Unit chair:

Mark Warne


One of SLE102, SLE136, SLE103 or plus two level 2 units



Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 1 x 2 hour class per week, 6 x 3 hour practicals per trimester, 1 x half day field trip per trimester (weather dependent).


This unit provides students with an opportunity to study deep-time aspects of the biological and environmental sciences.  Class include:

  1. Fossils of the terrestrial realm and their environments of preservation;
  2. Fossils of the marine realm and their environments of preservation;
  3. relative and absolute dating of fossils;
  4. biological evolution and the fossil record, including discussions on radiation, convergence, rates of extinction and evolutionary trends;
  5. Precambrian, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic life;
  6. Quaternary physical evolution of the earth and associated anthropological change;
  7. Microfossils as proxies of past oceanographic and climate change.  Practical work will involve 2 projects. The first project will involve the description and biostratigraphical or palaeoecological evaluation of invertebrate fossils from a limestone, sandstone or mudstone exposure in SE Australia.  The second project will involve the use of invertebrate microfossils or macrofossils as proxies of past environmental change within a human occupation historical timescale. This project will involve the examination of fossils from sediment cores gathered within a modern aquatic setting. 

This unit will also include a half day field trip (or online virtual field tour), or tour of museum fossil preparatory laboratories.


Practical report 1 40%, practical report 2 40%, class test 20%

Unit Fee Information

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