Dinosaur fossil found in Australia was about the size of a wallaby | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 May,

Dinosaur fossil found in Australia was about the size of a wallaby

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Kangaroos and wallabies weren't around in Australia 125 million years ago, but small herbivorous dinosaurs that also bounded around on powerful back legs were. Researchers discovered five fossilized jaws from a previously unknown dinosaur in the state of Victoria that was about the size of a modern-day wallaby.

Wallabies are diminutive members of the taxonomy that also includes kangaroos, and they can be anywhere from just under a foot to 3.2 feet tall.

Galleonosaurus dorisae is named both for the shape of its jaw, which resembles the hull of a galleon ship, and for paleontologist Doris Seegets-Villiers, who has studied fossils in the area.

The findings were published Monday in the Journal of Paleontology.

The finding "confirms that on a global scale, the diversity of these small-bodied dinosaurs had been unusually high in the ancient rift valley that once extended between the spreading continents of Australia and Antarctica," Herne said.

The rivers carried the volcanic sediments into the valley to form deep sedimentary basins. Over time, they mixed with dinosaur bones and fallen trees.

"This land has now vanished, but as 'time-travellers' we get snapshots of this remarkable world via the rocks and fossils exposed along the coast of Victoria," Herne said.



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