Paleontologists in Australia have found a fossil fragment from a new species of ornithopod dinosaur that walked the Earth approximately 100 million years ago (Cretaceous period).
The new Australian dinosaur, named Weewarrasaurus pobeni, was about the size of a large dog.
The ancient creature was an ornithopod dinosaur, part of a group of small plant-eating species that moved around on two legs and that were particularly abundant on the Cretaceous floodplains of eastern Australia.
A fragment of the jawbone of Weewarrasaurus pobeni was found deep in an underground mine at the Wee Warra locality close to the Grawin/Glengarry opal fields, approximately 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Lightning Ridge, central-northern New South Wales.
The fossil was analyzed by a team of paleontologists from the Australian Opal Centre and the Universities of New England and Queensland.
“Like all fossils from the Lightning Ridge opal mines, the lower jaw of Weewarrasaurus pobeni is preserved in opal,” said University of New England’s Dr. Phil Bell and co-authors.
“Lightning Ridge is the only place in the world where dinosaur bones routinely turn to opal.”
Read more here: Sci-News
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