Austrosaurus (Southern lizard)
Heber Longman – 1933
Estimated 15-20 meters long
A. mckillopi (type)
Australia, Queensland, Winton Formation
Early Cretaceous, 115 million years ago
Austrosaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 115 million years ago. The genus contains a single species, Austrosaurus mckillopi, which was first discovered in the Allaru Mudstone of Queensland, Australia.
Austrosaurus was a large dinosaur, estimated to have measured between 15 and 20 meters in length and weighed between 20 and 30 tons. It was a quadrupedal herbivore, meaning that it walked on four legs and primarily ate plants. Its long neck and tail would have enabled it to reach high into the trees to feed on foliage, while its large, heavy body would have provided stability and support.
Austrosaurus is significant because it provides valuable insights into the fauna and ecosystem of the Early Cretaceous period in Australia. At the time, Australia was an isolated continent with a unique and diverse dinosaur fauna, and the discovery of Austrosaurus highlights the importance of this region for the study of dinosaur evolution and diversity.
In addition, Austrosaurus is an important part of the story of sauropod dinosaur evolution, as it represents one of the earliest known sauropods from the southern hemisphere. Its anatomy provides valuable insights into the early evolution of sauropod dinosaurs, and its presence in the Allaru Mudstone highlights the diversity and complexity of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur fauna in Australia.
In conclusion, Austrosaurus is a fascinating dinosaur species that provides valuable insights into the fauna and ecosystem of the Early Cretaceous period in Australia, as well as the early evolution of sauropod dinosaurs. Although not as well-known as other dinosaurs, it is an important part of the story of dinosaur evolution and diversity. I hope this brief overview has sparked your interest in this amazing dinosaur genus, and I encourage you to learn more about its discovery, anatomy, and significance.