World’s oldest dinosaur burrows discovered in Australia


This September 2018 video is called Dinosaur Train Amazing Show: Oryctodromeus. Animal cartoon for kids.

From the BBC:

Oldest dinosaur burrow discovered

Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News

The world’s oldest dinosaur burrows have been discovered in Australia.

Three separate burrows have been found in all, the biggest 2m long, each built to a similar design and just big enough to hold the body of a small dinosaur.

The 106-million-year-old burrows, the first to be found outside of North America, would have been much closer to the South Pole when they were created.

That supports the idea that dinosaurs living in cold, harsh climates burrowed underground to survive.

The only other known dinosaur burrow was discovered in 2005 in Montana, US.

Described two years later, this burrow dated from 95 million years ago and contained the bones of an adult and two juveniles of a small new species of dinosaur called Oryctodromeus cubicularis.

Now the older burrows have been found by one of the researchers who made the original Montana discovery.

“Like many discoveries in palaeontology, it happened by a combination of serendipity and previous knowledge,” says Anthony Martin of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US.

“In May 2006, I hiked into the field site with a group of graduate students with the intention of looking for dinosaur tracks. We did indeed find a few dinosaur tracks that day, but while there I also noted a few intriguing structures.”

Martin returned to the site, a place dubbed Knowledge Creek that lies 240km from Melbourne, Victoria, to study these structures, once in July 2007 and again in May this year.

His first reaction was one of astonishment.

“I was scanning the outcrop for trace fossils, and was very surprised to see the same type of structure I had seen in Cretaceous rocks of Montana the previous year,” says Martin.

That original structure turned out to be the burrow of O. cubicularis, which Martin described with colleagues David Varricchio from Montana State University, Bozeman, US, and Yoshi Katsura of Gifu Prefectural Museum in Seki City, Japan. …

Martin can’t be sure which species of dinosaur made the burrows, but he is struck by how similar their designs are to the burrow made by O. cubicularis.

A variety of small ornithopod dinosaurs were also known to have lived in the area during the same time in the Cretaceous. These ornithopods stood upright on their hind legs and were about the size of a large, modern-day iguana.

Surviving the cold

Martin has ruled out a variety of other factors that could have created the burrows.

The fact that they were made by dinosaurs makes sense, he says. …

“Polar dinosaurs in particular must have possessed special adaptations to deal with polar winters, and one of their behavioural options was burrowing. It provides an alternative explanation for how small dinosaurs might have overwintered in polar environments.”

Martin now hopes that palaeontologists will be on the look out for a range of different types of dinosaur burrow, and for dinosaurs that are physically adapted to burrowing into soil.

Down Under dinosaur burrow discovery provides climate change clues (includes video): here.

About the size and weight of a typical second-grader, Gasparinisaura is important because it’s one of the few ornithopods known to have lived in South America during the Cretaceous period. Based on the discovery of numerous fossil remains in the same area, it’s believed that this small plant-eater lived in herds, which probably helped protect it from the larger predators in its ecosystem (as did it ability to run away very quickly when threatened!): here.

3 thoughts on “World’s oldest dinosaur burrows discovered in Australia

  1. Long-necked sauropod fossil found in Eromanga

    AAP

    August 26, 2009 03:11pm

    PALEONTOLOGISTS have discovered some of Australia’s oldest and largest dinosaur fossils in south-west Queensland.

    A two-week dig expedition on a site west of Eromanga has unearthed dozens of dinosaur bones and plant fossils believed to be around 97 million years old.

    The sheep and cattle station already boasts Australia’s largest dinosaur, Cooper, a new titanosaur species, measuring about 26 to 28 metres long.

    He was discovered in a previous expedition.

    With the help of local volunteers, Queensland Museum palaeontologists have identified another dinosaur, nicknamed Zac.

    Zac awaits official identification but is believed to be another species of long-necked sauropod.

    Queensland Museum palaeontologist, Scott Hocknull, said although smaller than Cooper, Zac’s skeleton was more complete.

    He said he believed the discovery to be one of the most exciting in the region.

    “The discoveries made this year confirm the south-west Queensland site is likely to be of great significance – not only for Australia – but for a wider scientific understanding of the age of dinosaurs,” Mr Hocknull said.

    Other discoveries in the region include a long-necked plant-eating sauropod, Rhoetosaurus, found in the 1930s at Roma and believed to be 170 million years old.

    Winton is also known for harbouring many dinosaur fossils with some dating from 98-95 million years ago.

    Banjo (a carnivorous theropod), Matilda and Clancy (giant plant-eating sauropods) were found in a vast geological deposit near Winton that dates from 98 million years ago.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,25984514-1248,00.html?from=public_rss

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  2. Pingback: Australian tyrannosaur discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Permian-Triassic extinction survivor discovered in Antarctica | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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