Saturday, July 4, 2009

Three new dinosaurs found in our backyard (Queensland)

Artist impressions of the three newly identified dinosaurs: Australovenator (top), Wintonotitan (middle), Diamantinasaurus (bottom) (Source: T Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History)

Palaeontologists have unveiled three new Australian dinosaur skeletons in outback Queensland today.

The two herbivores and one carnivore, excavated from the Winton formation, roamed our land during the Cretaceous period - 98 million years ago.

The research, published in the current edition of PloS One, puts Australian back on the palaeontology map and describes Australia's fauna before it separated from the supercontinent Gondwana.

Palaeontologist and lead author Dr Scott Hocknull, of the Queensland Museum, says in the past dinosaur discoveries in Australia haven't been considered important because there were so few of them.

"We've been able to prove that [view] completely wrong."

Hocknull says 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."

More here

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