Kronosaurus queenslandicus

Kronosaurus queenslandicus is the name given to Queensland’s largest fossil predator. Originally discovered near Hughenden in the 1920’s, there have been several Kronosaurus fossils found in the rocks of the Great Artesian Basin in western Queensland. It was named by Queensland palaeontologist Heber Longman. It was named the animal after the god Kronos; so horrible that he ate his own children.

Kronosaurus fossils have been found in the rocks deposited by the inland seas and it ranges in age from 112-98 Million years, during the Early Cretaceous Period.

Kronosaurus is a pliosaur, a short-necked marine reptile. It is though to have grown up to 11 metres in length, and its skull alone is nearly two metres long. Its jaws contain rows of large conical teeth, the biggest of which are nearly 30 centimetres long.

Kronosaurus was a fierce predator. Remains of its stomach contents found in northwest Queensland indicate it fed on turtles and other smaller marine reptiles known as plesiosaurs. It possibly ate giant squid which are also found as fossils in the Great Artesian Basin.The closest relatives to Kronosaurus are in South America and the United States, but it is uniquely Australian.

A full life restoration of Kronosaurus can be viewed at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond, north west Queensland, houses a number of exhibits on the marine fossils of the inland seas.

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