Sydney, July 3 (ANI): In a new research, paleontologists have unveiled three new Australian dinosaur skeletons in outback Queensland, Australia.
According to a report by ABC News, the two herbivores and one carnivore, excavated from the Winton formation, roamed our land during the Cretaceous period – 98 million years ago.
Palaeontologist and lead author Dr Scott Hocknull, of the Queensland Museum, said that all three skeletons are new genera of dinosaur, which show evolutionary links with dinosaurs from the northern hemisphere.
“Dinosaurs diversified and spread all over the world but Australia, being a very isolated place at the end of the world, developed its own unique fauna,” he said.
The new genera of carnivore, named Australovenator by the researchers, is the most complete meat-eating dinosaur skeleton ever found in Australia.
Hocknull said that Australovenator, nicknamed ‘Banjo’, was the cheetah of its time. “It was two metres from the hip, six metres long and built for speed,” he said.
The plant-eaters, named ‘Clancy’ and ‘Matilda’, were both titanosaur sauropods.
According to Hocknull, while Clancy was built like a hippo, Matilda was more like a giraffe. “It was 16 metres high with a long neck and small head,” he said.
The skeletons of Matilda and Banjo were found together at the bottom of an ancient billabong.
“Whatever killed Matilda probably killed Banjo,” said Hocknull. “Whether Banjo was trying to eat Matilda’s carcus or they both got stuck in the mud together, we don’t really know,” he added.
Palaeontologist and Head of Sciences at Museum Victoria Dr John Long said that Hocknull and his team’s research paper is the most significant paper ever published on Australian dinosaurs to date.
“It not only presents us with two new amazing long-necked giants of the ancient Australian continent, but also announces our first really big predator – Australovenator,” said Long.
Hocknull said that there are many more dinosaurs in the Winton site and they hope to find Australia’s oldest mammals among them.
“There are at least 50 other sites we know that are yet to be excavated so the next 20 to 30 years in Australian dinosaur science will be very exciting,” he said. (ANI)