Scientists discover species of dinosaur the size of a turkey

Scientists have discovered a species of dinosaur that roamed between Australia and Antarctica 113 million years ago....

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 8:34 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 8:34 PM

Scientists have discovered a species of dinosaur that roamed between Australia and Antarctica 113 million years ago.

The discovery of Diluvicursor pickeringi, published Thursday in the biological and medical journal Peer J, tells us more about how Australia and Antarctica were once connected and the different kinds of dinosaurs that lived there.

The discovery tells more about how Australia and Antarctica were once connected

Diluvicursor pickeringi was roughly the size of a turkey, but its tail would have made it about 7- feet

"Skeletons of dinosaurs from Australia are very rare," Matthew Herne, the lead paleontologist on the study, wrote in an email. This discovery shows for the first time that there were at least two closely related dinosaur species living in southeastern Australia.

So what did D. pickeringi look like when it was alive?

This dinosaur was roughly the size of a turkey, Herne said, although its tail would have made it a lot longer, at around 7- feet. It probably munched on things like leaves, pine nuts, mosses and possibly fruits. It was also a runner, evident from its long foot bones.

D. pickeringi is actually a close relative of a dinosaur named Leaellynasaura, Herne explained. Though both had small bodies, used two legs to walk and ate plants, they had some notable differences. Leaellynasaura had an extraordinarily long tail, but D. pickeringi's tail was much shorter.

Now that we know there were at least two distinct types of dinosaurs in this part of Australia, Herne said it raises questions about how wide those differences were. Future research will look at variations in characteristics such as what the dinosaurs ate and how fast each could run.

Herne said scientists don't know what wiped out D. pickeringi, but he speculated that this dinosaur could have been washed into a river during a flood. The fossil itself was found in 2005 by volunteer George Caspar, buried deep at the base of a powerful river, along with tree stumps, logs and branches.

The name Diluvicursor pickeringi translates to "Pickering's flood-running dinosaur" and honors David Pickering, a highly respected Australian paleontologist who died in 2016.

Herne said the site where the fossil was discovered gives a better idea about the environment in which D. pickeringi lived. The dinosaurs roamed the Australian-Antarctic rift valley, the area between an active volcanic mountain range in eastern Australia and Antarctica. Herne said the discovery site shows that huge rivers cut across that rift, and it was a place where forests flourished.

There's a lot of a fossil material at the site where this dinosaur was discovered that hasn't been analyzed, Herne said. And that means there could be even more dinosaurs we don't know about, just waiting to be discovered.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26980

Reported Deaths: 1159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin9099657
Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
Nobles15775
Anoka152779
Dakota144664
Washington70035
Olmsted68911
Rice5243
Kandiyohi5141
Scott4712
Clay44930
Mower4462
Wright3492
Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
Steele1700
Freeborn1590
Blue Earth1490
Martin1355
St. Louis11914
Lyon1012
Unassigned9611
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Cottonwood820
Winona8115
Crow Wing815
Watonwan790
Carlton750
Goodhue736
Otter Tail731
Chisago691
Polk632
Itasca5610
Dodge540
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur471
Douglas460
Meeker460
Becker440
Jackson420
Murray410
McLeod410
Isanti360
Pennington300
Waseca290
Mille Lacs241
Rock230
Faribault220
Wabasha200
Swift191
Beltrami180
Sibley170
Brown172
Fillmore171
Norman150
Pipestone130
Kanabec121
Aitkin120
Marshall120
Cass112
Big Stone110
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Redwood70
Yellow Medicine70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
Adair90
Montgomery92
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Mason City
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Charles City
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Weekend looks nice
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean Weather 6/6

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 6/5

Image

Gyms, fitness centers set to reopen

Image

Easing restrictions for MN restaurants and gyms

Image

Charles City vigil for George Floyd

Image

Hawkeye Harvest Foodbank partnership

Image

Next phase of Minnesota reopening

Image

Rental Assistance program for Rochester

Image

IA Care Homes Could Reopen to Visitors

Image

'Color Me Mine' Location Closes for Good

Community Events