Dinosaur fossils have been in the museum’s collection for many years and have recently been identified.
In 2005, scientists discovered the remains of a dinosaur skull. The excavations were carried out near the regional town of Bulia in Queensland. The sample was in the South Australian Museum for several years, until scientists became interested in it.
Compared to other dinosaurs, ankylosaur remains are rarely found in Australia. Therefore, the identification especially surprised scientists.
Initially, the bones of an ankylosaurus were found in a large hard stone. It formed around organic matter and probably helped the fossils survive. Among the fossils are limbs, vertebrae, many armored plates and parts of the skull. Analysis of the skull bones and teeth suggests that it belongs to the genus Kunbarrasaurus.
Ankylosaurs were medium to giant-sized (200 to 5,000 kg) herbivorous dinosaurs that walked on four legs and were covered in armored plates or spikes.
Dinosaur research in Australia has seen a resurgence in the last 10 years, as growing knowledge of Middle Cretaceous communities has revealed endemic high-paleolatitude Gondwanan fauna, the study authors note.