Australia yields three new dinosaur species

by mdr on Jul. 03rd, 2009

Three new Australian dinosaurs: Top: Australovenator wintonensis; middle: Wintonotitan wattsi: bottom: Diamantinasaurus matildae
Three new Australian dinosaurs: Top: Australovenator wintonensis; middle: Wintonotitan wattsi: bottom: Diamantinasaurus matildaeCourtesy T. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History
Three new dinosaur species from the mid-Cretaceous period have been unearthed in Queensland, Australia. Australovenator wintonensis was a relatively small but deadly 1100 pound theropod that hunted its prey 98 million years ago. Remains of two new sauropods species were also found. Wintonotitan wattsi was a giraffe-like titanosaurus, while Diamantinasaurus matildae ( a stockier, more hippo-like plant-eater. Australia has given up very few dinosaur fossils because the continent has remained relatively flat and undisturbed by the tectonic forces that churn up fossil-containing layers on other continents. Paleontologists had to bulldoze off more than a yard of overburden to get to the fossil layer. Australovenator is nicknamed "Banjo" after poet A.B. "Banjo" Paterson who wrote Australia's unofficial anthem, "Waltzing Matilda" on a nearby sheep ranch in the late 19th century. The new research appears in the online journal PLoS ONE but you can also read more here.

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