Australian scientists have announced the discovery of a new dinosaur on a cattle property in central Queensland – the third significant find of its kind on the continent.
This new theropod belongs to a group of carnivorous dinosaurs called megaraptorids, which had serrated, blade-like teeth, huge muscular arms and razor-sharp claws.
Bob Elliott found the small, fragmented bones on his property west of Winton in central-western Queensland in 2017 and further digging uncovered about 15 partial limb bones and several vertebrae.
They closely resemble the Australovenator wintonesis – the most complete theropod dinosaur ever discovered in Australia, which was found nearby in 2006 then named and described in 2009.
But they’re just slightly bigger.
“Although no well-preserved bones were recovered from below the surface, I was amazed to find it was a theropod, the second to be discovered from the area,” Dr White said.
“The bones discovered are slightly larger than Australovenator and show anatomical variations indicating that they may belong to a new species.”
The Winton Formation covers large swathes of central western Queensland and has produced a significant number of dinosaur fossils.
According to Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum founder David Elliott, theropod bones are rare, although their teeth are often found among the remains of sauropods, which are believed to have been their predominant prey.
“The Museum has excavated dozens of sauropod sites over the past 17 years and we have found the teeth of theropods at many of them,” he said.