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01. Winton Wonders

ORDER ORNITHISCHIA

Dinosaurs in this group had bird-like pelvises and hoofed toes. All were herbivores. The order is subdivided into four sub-orders:

  • Ornithopoda (bird-footed) and duck-billed dinosaurs such as Iguanodon and Muttaburrasaurus
  • Stegosauria (plated lizards) such as Stegosaurus
  • Ankylosauria (armoured lizards) such as Ankylosaurus and Minmi
  • Ceratopsia (horned faces) such as Triceratops

Muttaburrasaurus langdoni was named after grazier, Doug Langdon, who discovered the dinosaur near the town of Muttaburra in central Queensland in 1963.

Muttaburrasaurus was about 7m long and probably ate plants such as ferns, cycads and conifers. It had rows of grinding teeth to help with this. It also had an inflated, hollow bony chamber on its snout. This may have been a resonating chamber allowing the dinosaur to make a lot of noise.

Several specimens of this dinosaur have been found in central and northern Queensland, and a few teeth have been found in New South Wales. Muttaburrasaurus lived about 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

Image of Muttaburrasaurus skeleton Image of Muttaburrasaurus skeleton by Bruce Cowell,
© Queensland Museum.

Minmi paravertebrae was a small ankylosaur approximately the size of a year-old cow. It was named after Minmi Crossing, close to where the first pieces of the dinosaur were discovered in the 1960s.

Minmi was a herbivore. It had armoured skin with large scutes like a crocodile, and smaller pea-sized bones imbedded all over it. The armoured skin protected it from predators. A nearly complete skeleton of Minmi was found in north-west Queensland in 1990. Minmi lived between 110 and 100 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous period.

Image of Minmi skeleton Image of Minmi skeleton by Gary Cranitch, © Queensland Museum.

Find out more about some of Australia’s amazing dinosaurs and ichnogenera at the links below.

[Ichnotaxa do not provide actual dinosaur bones. They include trace fossils such as burrows, borings, tracks and trackways, coprolites (fossilised dung), and other evidence of past life on Earth. Examples include the footprints of the small coelurosaur named Skartopus, the small ornithopod named Wintonopus, and the large theropod named Tyrannosauropus, all located at the Lark Quarry trackway.]

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