The Eronomanga Natural History Museum and Queensland Museum have announced the discovery of a new dinosaur, Australotitan cooperensis.
This dinosaur is a new gigantic titanosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur group that represent the largest animals that walked on earth. It reached a similar size to the world’s dinosaur giants found in South America, marking Australia’s first entry into the world’s dinosaur giants.
The dinosaur that changed the lives of an outback Queensland grazing family forever, has been officially named Australotitan cooperensis – a previously unknown species of dinosaur that has been confirmed as setting a new record as Australia’s largest dinosaur and one of the largest in the world.
The museum was founded by couple Robyn and Stuart Mackenzie, palaeontologists. Its function is to hold the bones within the context of the discoveries, in a regional museum collection meeting international standards.
Robyn Mackenzie thanked the brands that supported the museum in their discovery.
“These are the largest dinosaurs that ever walked on earth and based on the preserved limb size comparisons, this new titnaosaur is estimated to be in the top five largest in the world. The scientific naming of this new dinosaur, formalises many years of research and from a community level, rewards the many volunteers, community members and our Founding Dig Sponsor Santos, Eromanga, Earthmoving, Tom and Janine Meakin and IOR who have contributed towards the discovery of the massive dinosaur.”
According to Mackenzie, the discovery could also be a source for tourism.
“Palaeo tourism has been huge globally so we’re expecting a lot of international interest when our borders re-open, and until then hope that Australians will come and see for themselves these incredible finds from our own backyard.”
The popularity of west Queensland for dinosaur enthusiast tourists has been growing in recent years, as the Australian Dinosaur Trail route expands. Queensland’s government has promised almost $500,00 for investment in the Trail over the next three years.
“These dinosaur discoveries have opened a whole new world, not just to our family, but to people throughout Australia. It has been the most enriching journey,” said Mackenzie.
Eromanga’s dinosaur journey started in 2004 when Mackenzie’s son Sandy discovered a memorable “rock”. That rock confirmed Robyn Mackenzie’s husband Stuart Mackenzie’s lifelong belief that there were dinosaur bones on the family property and led to the couple founding the Outback Gondwana Foundation Limited and later the Eromanga Natural History Museum.
Minister for Arts Leeanne Enoch said the exciting new discovery helps to cement Queensland as Australia’s dinosaur capital.
“Discoveries like Australotitan tell the story of a time when dinosaurs roamed Queensland,” Minister Enoch said.
“Queensland Museum experts have been on the ground, sharing their knowledge with regional museums and helping to preserve and better understand the diverse paleontological history of our state.
“These unique outback discoveries are supporting Queensland as we deliver our economic recovery plan creating local jobs in regional and cultural tourism.”
The fossil remains of Australotitan cooperensis are located in the Eromanga Natural History Museum fossil collection and now available for the public to view and researchers to do further study.
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