Languages
Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 11:28 UK

Australia discovers new dinosaur

Map

Australian palaeontologists say they have discovered a new species of dinosaur on a sheep farm in the northern state of Queensland.

The fossil remains of the large plant-eating sauropod, nicknamed Zac, are about 97 million years old.

They were found near the town of Eromanga, in a fossil-rich area that was once covered by a vast inland sea.

Palaeontologists say the find confirms Australia's importance as a centre for dinosaur discovery.

The country's largest dinosaur, Cooper, was found on the same sheep farm in 2004.

Cooper was almost 30 metres long and was a new species of titanosaur - enormous, armour-plated creatures.

'Dinosaur rush'

Queensland Museum palaeontologist Scott Hocknull said Zac's skeleton was smaller than Cooper's, but more complete.

Zac, in common with other sauropods, had a very long neck, a small head and blunt teeth, and a long tail to counter-balance the neck.

Dinos (Travis TISCHLER/AFP/Getty Images)
"Matilda" (L), "Clancy" (C) and "Banjo" (R) were found nearby earlier this year

Mr Hocknull said the find was part of a new "dinosaur rush" in Australia.

"We have got dinosaurs coming out of all parts of Queensland, and so Australia is really becoming this centre for dinosaur discovery."

He said much of Zac's remains were sticking out of the ground, but there are further excavations planned in this dinosaur-rich area.

"There will be hundreds of skeletons underneath the ground. The bone beds are so dense, you can hardly move for a dinosaur bone."

Three new dinosaur species were found in the same area earlier this year, all dating to the same period as Zac - about 100 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous period.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
New dinosaurs found in Australia
03 Jul 09 |  Science & Environment
Will the real dinosaurs stand up?
17 Sep 08 |  Science & Environment
New dinosaur gives bird wing clue
17 Jun 09 |  Science & Environment
Dinosaur footprints go on display
10 May 09 |  Oxfordshire
China finds major dinosaur site
31 Dec 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Dinosaur bones 'used as medicine'
06 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Dinosaur mummy yields its secrets
30 Jun 09 |  Science & Environment
Dinosaur bites back
23 Feb 01 |  Science/Nature

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific