New Queensland Dig Sites Opened Up
In January, Everything Dinosaur team members put their heads together and tried to come up with some predictions about what might happen over the coming twelve months in the world of dinosaurs and fossil study. Our “palaeontology predictions” are just for a bit of fun, but we make them and then we review how we got on with them at the end of the year.
To read Everything Dinosaur’s list or palaeontology related predictions for 2015: 2015 Everything Dinosaur Dinosaur and Palaeontology Predictions
One of things we confidently predicted is that there would be more dinosaur fossils discovered in Australia, particularly in the State of Queensland.
As the southern hemisphere moves into its winter, there are a lot more field excavations planned, particularly in dinosaur fossil hotspots such as Queensland. Conditions are simply too hot in many parts of Queensland for field work during the summer months, but the slightly cooler temperatures of this time of year are perfect to permit more field expeditions to be conducted.
A dig is currently under way at a new site about eighteen miles from the small town of Eromanga in south-west Queensland. Palaeontologists from Queensland Museum as well as volunteers are exploring the site. The strata laid down in this area represents the fluvial plain that was adjacent to an island sea that existed during the Early Cretaceous. The field team are optimistic about finding more dinosaur fossils and potentially a new species. A number of dinosaur remains have already been found in this area and several new genera described, for example the armoured dinosaur Minmi (M. paravertebra) comes from marine sediments located approximately 250 miles to the east. These deposits all make up a huge geological formation known as the Eromanga basin. Closer to Eromanga itself the fossilised remains of a large Titanosaur nick-named “Zac” was uncovered in 2009.
Fossils of Titanosaurs Have Been Discovered in the Area
Picture Credit: Judy Elliott/Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum
Another excavation is due to start at a new site this month, this time, at a location to the north of Eromanga, heading up towards the town of Winton. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs and other institutions are busy organising field teams to open up once again previously explored dig sites or to start new excavations as scientists strive to uncover more of Australia’s dinosaur heritage.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Due to the very high daytime temperatures it can be difficult to attract palaeontologists to this part of Queensland during mid October through to early March. However, we are now approaching the period of peak activity and we are looking forward to hearing about some more dinosaur fossil discoveries.”