Turkey sized dinosaur fossils found near ancient Australian river

An excavation carried out in the southeastern periphery of Australian continent provided the researchers, some fossilized remains of a pre-historic turkey-sized dinosaur that was herbivorous in nature. These skeletons were excavated from a 113-million-year-old rock which was estimated to have been swept away by an ancient river with powerful tidal force.Another major discovery of eggs near a construction site located in China opened up a potential gateway to acquire the history of dinosaurs during the cretaceous period.

The findings of this study were reported in the journal PeerJ. These bipedal herbivorous animals were termed as Ornithopods that roamed around the Great Rift Valley which once existed amidst the place between Australia and Antarctica when it was the part of a single continent, Gondwana. The species hold the scientific name Diluvicursor Pickeringi, which loosely translates to the flood-running dinosaurs of Pickering.

The species acquired its name from late David Pickering. He was the collection Manager of the Vertebrate Palaeontology at Museums Victoria in Australia. A volunteer prospector, George Caspar discovered the skeleton remains of Diluvicursor Pickeringi in the year 2005.
The lead author of the study, Matt Herne, explained that the Diluvicursor revealed for the very first time that this particular section of the Australian continent housed at least two different body-types which were closely related to the ornithopods. One of these flaunted an extremely long tail with light build while the other was born with a sturdy built backed by a shorter tail as compared to its sibling species.

An initial reconstruction of the fossils revealed that the Diluvicursor was a fast and swift runner with strong leg muscles that helped with retracting motion. Researchers said that the remains of this species seemed to have entangled during a long-jam down in the ancient river that has strong currents. The herbivorous dinosaur is being compared to the present day kangaroos and wallabies predominant in this region.

As skeletons of dinosaurs found in Australia is a rather rare discovery, this opens up a whole new chapter to the pre-historic era dominated by numerous undiscovered species.

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