- Dinosaur

Close to-complete Titanosaur Cranium Present in Queensland

A just about full titanosaur cranium has been present in Queensland. The fossil discovery is Australia’s most full sauropod cranium discovered thus far. It helps the speculation that Australian sauropods originated in South America. The titanosaur cranium has been assigned to Diamantinasaurus matildae.

Titanosaur skull fossils.
A view of the Diamantinasaurus cranium bones in approximate life place: Image credit score: Australian Age of Dinosaurs.

Diamantinasaurus matildae

Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum researchers in collaboration with Curtin College (Perth) despatched a media launch asserting the invention of the beautiful sauropod cranium. The fossil specimen, nicknamed “Ann” was excavated in 2018 at a dig website positioned at Elderslie Station, close to Winton (Queensland).

A view of the dig site "Ann" the location of the discovery of titanosaur skull fossils.
Area crew members working on the “Ann” dig website. Image credit score: Australian Age of Dinosaurs.

The fossil specimen is believed to be between 98-95 million years previous (Cenomanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous). It’s the fourth specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae to have been found by Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum workers.

Finding out the Cranium

Analysis on the titanosaur cranium was led by Museum Analysis Affiliate Dr Stephen Poropat, a
Postdoctoral Analysis Fellow at Curtin College.

Dr Poropat said:

“This cranium provides us a uncommon glimpse into the anatomy of this monumental sauropod that lived in northeast Australia virtually 100 million years in the past.”

Examining the Queensland dinosaur fossils.
Dr Stephen Poropat (left) and proper, Dr Phil Mannion (College School London) analyzing the “Ann” website fossil materials together with the Diamantinasaurus cranium bones, the Oliver scapula and vertebra two. Image credit score: Australian Age of Dinosaurs.

Implications for Titanosaur Evolution

The researchers recognized similarities between “Ann” and the cranium of one other titanosaur Sarmientosaurus musacchioi. S. musacchioi fossils come from southern Argentina, from rocks that are roughly contemporaneous with the Winton Formation strata. The braincases of those two titanosaurs have been related, together with the dentition (enamel). Comparable anatomical traits have been additionally recognized within the quadratojugal (a bone from the again of the cranium close to the posterior of the decrease jaw).

Dr Poropat commented that their findings help earlier theories that sauropods have been utilizing Antarctica as a migratory pathway between South America and Australia between 100 and 95 million years in the past.

The physician added:

“Our analysis means that Diamantinasaurus was one of the ‘primitive’ titanosaurs. Gaining a greater understanding of this species may clarify why titanosaurs have been so profitable, throughout a lot of the world, proper till the tip of the Age of Dinosaurs.”

A Life Reconstruction of the titanosaur head (Diamantinasaurus matildae).
A life reconstruction of the titanosaur Diamantinasaurus. Image credit score: Australian Age of Dinosaurs.

For fashions and replicas of titanosaurs and different sauropods: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Fashions.

Titanosaur Cranium Hyperlinks Australian Dinosaurs to Antarctica and South America

Firstly of the Late Cretaceous (100 to 95 million years in the past), the Earth was a lot hotter than it’s in the present day. Antarctica which was positioned roughly the place it’s in the present day, was ice free. Australia was a lot additional south and carefully related to the Antarctic landmass. The large conifer forests of Antarctica might need been a horny habitat for migratory sauropods. The similarities between “Ann” and Sarmientosaurus cranium matieral lends weight to the idea that titanosaurs used Antarctica as a pathway to Australia.

The Diamantinasaurus cranium fossils are at present on show on the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum.

Every part Dinosaur acknowledges the help of a media launch from the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum within the compilation of this text.

The scientific paper: “An almost full cranium of the sauropod dinosaur Diamantinasaurus matildae from the Higher Cretaceous Winton Formation of Australia and implications for the early evolution of titanosaurs” by Stephen F. Poropat, Philip D. Mannion, Samantha L. Rigby, Ruairidh J. Duncan, Adele H. Pentland, Joseph J. Bevitt, Trish Sloan and David A. Elliott printed by Royal Society Open Science.

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