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Dinosaur find at Qld mine site

Monday 24th of July 2017 05:11:15 AM



Palaeontologists and volunteers will work over the next month excavating and studying 30,000-year-old dinosaur bones at the South Walker Creek mine in Central Queensland.

The team of eight people, led by Queensland Museum palaeontologist Scott Hocknull, will be excavating a riverbed at the mine site for bones of tropical megafauna that roamed northern Australia between 30,000 and 1.5million years ago.

The search was triggered after previous expeditions to the site 40km west of Nebo revealed something unusual about the megafauna; they had puncture marks.

Jawbone of Diprotodon at South Walker Creek

"I asked myself 'why on earth are these bones being preserved where they were?' and then I realised that this was an ancient dinner plate for a massive freshwater crocodile about 7m long," Mr Hocknull said.

These megafauna remains, including part of the world's largest known marsupial Diprotodon, were thrown around and busted into fragments making it a very difficult site to excavate.

The team visit the site for four weeks each year, and each time they discover something new. This year they will be searching for more remains of the 7m crocodile, along with an Australian lion Thylacoleo after its bones were discovered at the site also.

Mr Hocknull explained, the Thylacoleo is not like a lion of Africa. It's a marsupial so it has a pouch, and is Australia's apex predator.

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