Artist's impression of a Galleonosaurus dorisae herd on a riverbank in the Australian-Antarctic rift valley during the Early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago. The newly-named, dinosaur wallaby-sized herbivorous dinosaur, was identified from five fossilized upper jaws in 125-million-year-old rocks from the Cretaceous period of Victoria, southeastern Australia.© Courtesy James Kuether
Artist’s impression of a Galleonosaurus dorisae herd on a riverbank within the Australian-Antarctic rift valley throughout the Early Cretaceous, 125 million years in the past. The newly-named, dinosaur wallaby-sized herbivorous dinosaur, was recognized from 5 fossilized higher jaws in 125-million-year-old rocks from the Cretaceous interval of Victoria, southeastern Australia.

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 had been. Researchers found 5 fossilized jaws from a beforehand unknown dinosaur within the state of Victoria that was concerning the dimension of a modern-day wallaby.

Wallabies are diminutive members of the taxonomy that additionally consists of kangaroos, and they are often wherever from slightly below a foot to three.2 toes tall.

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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 had been printed Monday within the Journal of Paleontology.

The dinosaur would have been a small but fast member of the massive household known as ornithopods, which additionally included iguanodons.

“These small dinosaurs would have been agile runners on their highly effective hind legs,” mentioned Matthew Herne, lead creator of the research and a postdoctoral fellow on the College of New England in New South Wales, in a press release.

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The researchers discovered the 5 jaws, starting from younger to mature, in the identical space as different small ornithopods. This means that they favored the forest-covered floodplain of the traditional Australian-Antarctic rift valley tens of millions of years in the past.

a close up of a rock: Fossils and a 3D CT model of the newly named dinosaur Galleonosaurus dorisae.© Courtesy Matthew Herne/College of New England
Fossils and a 3D CT mannequin of the newly named dinosaur Galleonosaurus dorisae.

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 when 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 workforce additionally discovered Diluvicursor pickeringi, one other small ornithopod, within the space in 2018, however Gallenosaurus is 12 million years older. The researchers imagine this reveals that dinosaurs had been residing and evolving within the rift valley for a very long time.

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The rivers carried the volcanic sediments into the valley to type deep sedimentary basins. Over time, they blended with dinosaur bones and fallen timber.

“This land has now vanished, however as ‘time-travellers’ we get snapshots of this outstanding world by way of the rocks and fossils uncovered alongside the coast of Victoria,” Herne mentioned.

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