Scientists have unearthed 17 tooth from a large herbivorous dinosaur that roamed Queensland tens of millions of years in the past in an “exceptionally uncommon” Australian discover.
The tooth had been found close to the western Queensland city of Winton, which palaeontologists consider was on the fringe of an inland ocean round 96 million years in the past.
A number of partial sauropod skeletons have beforehand been unearthed from the fossil hotspot however cranial stays, together with tooth, stay uncommon.
The Winton-based Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Pure Historical past first found a dozen sauropod tooth among the many scattered fossilised stays in 2019.
A second excavation uncovered one other 5 tooth, bringing the overall discover to 17.
The fossils are nonetheless being examined, however preliminary outcomes point out the tooth belonged to a sauropod that consumed vegetation from a top of 1 to 10 metres.
The plant-eating sauropod diamantinasaurus was one of many largest animals ever to stroll the earth.
Dr Stephen Poropat from Melbourne’s Swinburne College of Know-how mentioned the invention may reveal new particulars about sauropod diets.
Scientists beforehand thought sauropods couldn’t chew and swallowed stones to grind up meals of their stomachs.
They assumed long-necked dinosaurs used peg-like tooth to rake and slice leaves off timber.
However coarse scratches on the 17 tooth recommend the diamantinasaurus might have chewed tougher meals.
“The comparatively sturdy tooth of diamantinasaurian sauropods would have enabled them to acquire components of vegetation that had been comparatively hardy, conifer cones for instance,” Poropat mentioned.
“The invention is doubly vital as sauropod dinosaur tooth are exceptionally uncommon in Australia, regardless of being comparatively generally preserved components in Jurassic-Cretaceous deposits elsewhere.”