Dinosaur discovery “a major breakthrough”
Australian palaeontologists say they have discovered three new dinosaur species after examining fossils dug up in Queensland.
Writing in the journal PLoS One, they describe one of the creatures as a fearsome predator with three large slashing claws on each hand.
The other two were herbivores: one a tall giraffe-like creature, the other of stocky build like a hippopotamus.
The fossils date back nearly 100 million years.
They were found in rocks known as the Winton Formation.
The dinosaurs have been named after characters in Australia’s famous song Waltzing Matilda.
The carnivore, which has the scientific classification Australovenator wintonensis, has therefore been dubbed “Banjo” after Banjo Patterson, who composed the song in Winton in 1885.
Queensland Museum palaeontologist Scott Hucknell said the creature would have been a terrifying prospect.
“The cheetah of his time, Banjo was light and agile. He could run down most prey with ease over open ground,” he told reporters.