Emu gizzard stones

Subject: Emu gizzard stones
From: Helen Larson <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 06:31:30 +0000 (GMT)
hello David
    I have been digging up these stones (along with many other people) at the 
Alcoota fossil site which has many dromornithids and some emus in it (among 
other beasts). The two palaeontologists who ran the site argued regularly over 
what they were - big bird gizzard stones or just river gravel? Sadly one of 
them died last year (on-site) so the argument is not resolved. The stones get 
mentioned occasionally - see p.262 in Peter Murray and Pat Vickers-Rich's book 
"Magnificent Mihirungs" where there is a short summary and references.
   I have a glass jar full of these stones and will be back at Alcoota next 
month to see if I can finally find a fish fossil (am an ichthyologist not 
palaeontologist), or the upper dromornithid beak to match the lower one I found 
3 years ago.


From: "" <>
To: birding aus <>
Sent: Mon, 7 June, 2010 18:02:03
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Emu gizzard stones

I have just returned from a week's fieldwork at Ned's Corner in NW

While looking for megafauna bones and Aboriginal occupation sites at Little
Lake Walla Walla, we came across a deposit of small stones that were
clearly not cultural and were not a result of normal sedimentary processes.
The best explanation we could come up with was Emu gizzard stones or
gastroliths (or perhaps Genyornis gizzard stones).

I recall a paper several years ago that looked at the use of Aboriginal
stone artefacts as gizzard stones and their subsequent re-distribution
across the landscape but I am not aware any papers on gizzard stones.  If
anyone knows of any gizzard stone studies, I would appreciate the

There is an inherent conflict between archaeology and bird observation but
I did manage to look up on enough occasions to see a good range of Mallee
birds including Mulga and Red-rumped Parrots, Bluebonnets, Mallee
Ringnecks, Southern Whitefaces, White-winged Fairy-wrens, Yellow- and
White-plumed, Singing and Black Honeyeaters, Grey and Pied Butcherbirds
(with overlapping territories), Black, Whistling and Black-shouldered Kites
and lots more.



Any personal or sensitive information contained in this email and
attachments must be handled in accordance with the Victorian Information
Privacy Act 2000, the Health Records Act 2001 or the Privacy Act 1988
(Commonwealth), as applicable.

This email, including all attachments, is confidential.  If you are not the
intended recipient, you must not disclose, distribute, copy or use the
information contained in this email or attachments.  Any confidentiality or
privilege is not waived or lost because this email has been sent to you in
error.  If you have received it in error, please let us know by reply
email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU