New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Australia after Fossilized Bones Found in Queensland
Scientists have hinted about finding a new species of dinosaurs after they analyzed fossilized bones found by Queensland resident David Ellioitt. The massive bones have led scientists to suggest new family tree for sauropods which could have thrived in Australia during the past. Mr. Ellioitt now heads Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Australia. The analysis suggests that dinosaur could be 40-50 feet long.
David Ellioitt and his wife Judy Elliott are both paleontologists and they took help from Queensland Museum to extract the remaining fossils from the place where Mr. Ellioitt first spotted the fossil.
The family tree suggests that Australian dinosaurs descended from South American sauropods. The research team also indicated the possibility of sauropods traveling from South America to Australia during Cretaceous period.
Study author Stephen Poropat, a paleontologist with the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Winton, Queensland, Australia, said, “By plotting the evolution of these sauropods against changes in the positions of the continents, we’ve possibly been able to constrain when these titanosaurs migrated.”
Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus likely co-existed 98 million to 95 million years ago. Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus fossils are currently on display at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. In addition to Savannasaurus, the semicomplete remains include the first sauropod skull ever found in Australia, which belongs to a previously known species called Diamantinasaurus matildae.
"Anytime you put a name on a dinosaur it’s a hypothesis — and it’s one that’s going to be tested and tested in the future, and we are hoping of course that Savannasaurus will stand the test of time," Poropat says.
"One of the most exciting things about this discovery — and others that have come from Australia in recent years — is we’ve really only scratched the surface as to what’s there," Matthew Lamanna, a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania added. "There are entire lost worlds of dinosaurs waiting to be found in Australia." Lamanna was not involved with the current study.
The study has been published in journal Scientific Reports.