New Dinosaur Species Found In Australia

Posted: Oct 21 2016, 3:55am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 21 2016, 3:59am CDT , in Latest Science News


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New Dinosaur Species Found in Australia
Savannasaurus elliottorum. Credit: Reconstruction by Travis R. Tischler / Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History
  • New Dinosaur belonging to the Cretaceous Period unearthed from Queensland

A new dinosaur belonging to the Cretaceous Period was unearthed from Queensland.

An Australian museum announced the name of the Savannasaurus elliottorum. This is a new dinosaur from Queensland. The bones of this beast date back to 95 million years ago in the distant past.

The paper on this finding was published on Thursday October 20 in Scientific Reports, an open access, online journal published by Nature.

The Savannasaurus was stumbled upon by David Elliott while he was herding sheep in 2005. He had nearly reached home with the flock of sheep when he chanced upon a pile of bones nearby.

He got pretty excited at the prospect of finding a carnivorous therapod. Instead it turned out to be a herbivorous sauropod. Elliott and his wife marked the site and decided to some digging on their own at the spot later on. The site finally underwent excavation.

At least 17 pallets of bones imbedded in rocks were recovered from the site. After a decade of backbreaking work by the museum team, the dinosaur skeleton was retrieved from the surrounding rock molds.

The really exciting thing was that the skeleton belonged to a new dinosaur. The discovery was nicknamed Wade after Aussie paleontologist, Dr Mary Wade.

She happened to be a close friend of the Elliotts and she passed away during the time period when the work on the novel dinosaur was being done. This naming of the project was the best way of honoring Mary Wade.

However, now the formal name has been brought into the open too. It is Savannasaurus elliottorum. This name refers to the savannah country in which the dinosaur was found and also makes mention of the Elliott family who chanced upon the exposed fossil bones of the dinosaur. As for the first sauropod skull found in Australia, it belonged to Diamantinasaurus matildae.

Both the Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are examples of sauropods called titanosaurs. These dinosaurs include the largest of animals that ever lived on the land.

Finally, the two nicknamed dinosaurs that are Wade and Matilda can join each other at the museum. The two dinosaurs hold pride of place at the museum and they will get seen by many who will flock to the institution in order to vicariously peer into prehistoric times.

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