Saturday, July 4, 2009

New dinosaurs discovered in Australia

There have been some amazing paeleontological discoveries recently in Australia. These dinosaurs are the most complete skeletons found in Australia.
CANBERRA, Australia — It was a 1,100 pound meat-eating predator with three slashing claws on each of its powerful forelimbs that stalked the Outback 98 million years ago.

Scientists have now confirmed for the first time that the big, fast dinosaur lived in Australia - and they've named it like something from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Meet the Australovenator.

The beast was a 1,100 pound meat-eating predator with three slashing claws on each of its powerful forelimbs that stalked the Outback 98 million years ago, researchers said in a report published Friday.

What idiot thought up that stupid, stupid name? Australovenator?

Can I just correct a something in the report?

The finders nicknamed the 16-foot long carnivore, Australovenator wintonensis, "Banjo," after the poet A.B. "Banjo" Paterson who in 1885 penned Australia's unofficial anthem "Waltzing Matilda" on a sheep ranch near Winton — a cattle town that lies closest to where the dinosaur bones were found. Banjo's Latin name means "Winton's Southern Hunter."

In Australia we don't have "ranches", they're called Stations, it's a Sheep Station. Read more here.

I've been to Winton in Qld, the ex was born there and we had a trip there in about 1994 via many other interesting towns and sights on our way to the sister in law's wedding in Townsville. We also visited the Venus Battery, a gold mine in Charters Towers. I quite liked Charters Towers.

Unfortunately we didn't get to see the site of the plane crash (QANTAS, 03 Oct 1934, near Winton, Australia, de Havilland DH-50A) near Winton, nor did we see the birthplace of QANTAS*, and we didn't get to Lark Quarry, it was a side trip we didn't have time for. Lark Quarry is where a lakeside has been fossilised and you can still see the footprints of the animals which came to drink and walked across the mud flat.

About/Where Is Winton, Queensland? Don't bother with the pictures, they're woeful after the statue and windmill.

Many years ago, as a young teenager, I visited a place called Chillagoe in North Queensland. There are caves at Chillagoe, both limestone and closeby** there are lava tubes (Undara Lava Tubes, I have never been there but I would love to look - though I have been to Hawaii in 1991). In Chillagoe the family and others were caving, mapping caves, searching for new caves, and on one trip there a few paeleontologically inclined speleologists recovered a rare fossilised crocodile skull from Fossil Cave. A stinking, hot, humid, horrible close-to-the-surface tunnel reached from a small hole in the ground. (Memory's not fantastic, I was only 13 and it was 37 years ago.)

*Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service (Qantas) was formed in Winton in November 1920 and its first board meeting held in the Winton Club on February 21, 1921.

** closeby in this case is within a day's drive.

1 comment:

Steve at the Pub said...

Interestingly, though the Americans call them cattle "ranches" the same people often refer to "sheep stations".

As Lava Tubes go, the Undara tubes have it over the Hawaiian ones every way possible.

In the livestock industry, there is a lot of spanish terminology used by the Americans. The only American-spanish term that seems to have made it here is "rodeo" (usurping the perfectly good Aussie term "Buckjump Show")

In my experience, caucasian Americans in the livestock industry don't always react well to the observation that they use "mexican" terminology. It mostly comes as news to them all those words aren't English. And this is before one starts on all the spanish words they use for geographical features, when there are perfectly good English words with exactly the same meanings.