Reg Sprigg

Reginald ( Reg) Claude Sprigg ( born March 1, 1919 in Stansbury, Australia; † December 2, 1994 in Glasgow, United Kingdom) was an Australian geologist and paleontologist. He is considered the discoverer of the Ediacaran fauna.


Reginald Sprigg grew up in the Australian state of South Australia. He holds a degree in geology at the University of Adelaide, where he graduated in 1941 with a Master of Science. In 1940 he joined the Royal Australian Engineers of the Australian Army. He then worked until 1943 at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

1944-1954 Reginald Sprigg was employed by the South Australian Mining Office. His greatest discovery succeeded in 1946, when he was sent by the Australian Government to examine the profitability of disused mines in the Ediacaran hills. Here he found fossils of ancient creatures very, known as the Ediacaran fauna, which he dated to the early Cambrian or even the Precambrian. However, his work was initially little scientific attention. His article for Nature was rejected, his lectures at several congresses met with disbelief or disinterest. Only after the confirmation by Martin Glaessner him a belated recognition was to be divided. To Reginald Sprigg honors were fossils of the Ediacaran fauna, the genera Spriggia and Spriggina named.

In 1954, Reginald Sprigg the company Geosurveys of Australia. After acquisition by Beach Petroleum Ltd.. in 1962 he became its Managing Director.

The Royal Society of South Australia honored him in 1968 with the Verco Medal. In 1980 he received an honorary doctorate from the Australian National University. In 1983 he was appointed by Elizabeth II to Officer of the Order of Australia.

Become rich through the income from his oil company, he retired to an estate in the Flinders mountains, where he established a wildlife reserve.