Kangaroos and wallabies weren’t round in Australia 125 million years in the past, however small herbivorous dinosaurs that additionally bounded round on highly effective again legs have been. Researchers found 5 fossilized jaws from a previously unknown dinosaur within the state of Victoria that was concerning the measurement of a modern-day wallaby.
Wallabies are diminutive members of the taxonomy that additionally contains kangaroos, and they are often wherever from slightly below a foot to 3.2 ft tall.
Galleonosaurus dorisae is called each for the form of its jaw, which resembles the hull of a galleon ship, and for paleontologist Doris Seegets-Villiers, who has studied fossils within the space.The findings have been revealed Monday within the Journal of Paleontology.
The dinosaur would have been a small but fast member of the big household referred to as ornithopods, which additionally included iguanodons.
“These small dinosaurs would have been agile runners on their highly effective hind legs,” mentioned Matthew Herne, lead writer of the research and a postdoctoral fellow on the University of New England in New South Wales, in a press release.
The researchers discovered the 5 jaws, starting from younger to mature, in the identical space as different small ornithopods. This means that they appreciated the forest-covered floodplain of the traditional Australian-Antarctic rift valley tens of millions of years in the past. The discovering “confirms that on a worldwide scale, the variety of those small-bodied dinosaurs had been unusually excessive within the historic rift valley that after prolonged between the spreading continents of Australia and Antarctica,” Herne mentioned.
Gallenosaurus was buried in volcanic sediments carried by what was as soon as a community of deep, swift rivers. Herne and his group additionally discovered Diluvicursor pickeringi, one other small ornithopod, within the space in 2018, however, Gallenosaurus is 12 million years older. The researchers imagine this exhibits that dinosaurs have been residing and evolving within the rift valley for a very long time.
The rivers carried the volcanic sediments into the valley to type deep sedimentary basins. Over time, they blended with dinosaur bones and fallen bushes.
“This land has now vanished, however as ‘time-travelers’ we get snapshots of this exceptional world through the rocks and fossils uncovered alongside the coast of Victoria,” Herne mentioned.