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article imageNew Species of Dinosaur Discovered in Australia

By Chris Dade     Aug 29, 2009 in Science
Paleontologists in Australia have discovered the fossils of a new species of dinosaur nicknamed Zac, on the same sheep farm in Queensland on which the country's largest dinosaur, given the nickname Cooper, was found in 2004.
Zac is a sauropod, a type of large plant-eating dinosaur which was usually long-necked and four-legged. Sauropods were distinctive by the small heads on their large bodies and, more often than not, their long tails.
According to Red Orbit, Zac, who is apparently smaller but more complete than the 98-foot long Cooper, would have lived approximately 97 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous period.
The town in which the latest discovery was made is Eromanga, where only five years previously Cooper, a Titanosaur, also a type of sauropod, was unearthed. By the Late Cretaceous period Titanosaurs had in the main replaced other, perhaps more familiar, types of sauropods such as Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus), Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus.
Scott Hocknull, a paleontologist with the Queensland Museum, described how Australia is now in the midst of a "dinosaur rush" and explained that there are "bone beds so dense, you can hardly move for a dinosaur bone".
An illustration of three other dinosaurs found earlier this year, near to where Zac was dug up, can be seen on the BBC website.
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