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.
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.
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.
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.
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.