‘Huge’ 100-million-year-old dinosaur skull discovered in central Queensland, revealing ancient secrets
- 100 million year old dinosaur found
- Belongs to the genus Diamantinasaurus matildae
- Offers a rare glimpse of the passage through Antarctica
Paleontologists have discovered a 100 million year old dinosaur skull in outback Queensland.
The skull of the long-necked dinosaur, belonging to a sauropod nicknamed ‘Ann’, was found in 2018 at Elderslie Station near Winton during an annual dinosaur dig.
The nearly complete skull – the first to be found in Australia – belongs to the species Diamantinasaurus matildae, which is known for its small heads, long necks and tails, barrel-like bodies and four columnar legs.
The discovery has provided a rare glimpse into the instinctive animal’s journey across a warmer Antarctica.
A 100 million year old dinosaur skull has been discovered by paleontologists in outback Queensland
Researchers at Curtin University analyzed the skull to better understand the dinosaur’s anatomy, relationships and feeding habits.
Analysis of the skull has revealed the dinosaur’s path between South America and Australia through Antarctica between 100 and 95 million years ago, research released Wednesday revealed.
“The window between 100 and 95 million years ago was one of the warmest in Earth’s geologically recent history, meaning that Antarctica, which was more or less where it is today, had no ice,” said lead researcher and paleontologist Stephen Poropat. .
The skull of the long-necked dinosaur, belonging to a sauropod nicknamed ‘Ann’, was found in 2018 at Elderslie Station near Winton during an annual dinosaur dig
Similarly, Australia, which was much further south than now, was warmer with less seasonality. In that climate, Antarctica was forested and may have been an attractive habitat or path for wandering sauropods.’
Dr. Poropat, one of the paleontologists who uncovered the skull, said it resembled the skull of a South American titanosaur.
“These include details of the brain shell, the bones that form the posterior end of the skull at the temporomandibular joint and in the shape of the teeth,” he said.
‘Our research suggests that Diamantinasaurus was one of the most ‘primitive’ titanosaurs.
“A better understanding of this species could explain why titanosaurs were so successful, in such a large part of the world, until the end of the dinosaur age.”
Ann is the third fossil specimen of Diamantinasaurus discovered at Elderslie station, and the fourth specimen in all.