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Australian dinosaurs



Since antipodean dinosaurs are under discussion, I'll mention my recent
trip home to Oz.  I picked up a couple of good books.


"Dinosaurs of Australia" is by Dr. John Long, Curator of Vertebrate
Palaeontology at the Western Australian Museum.  It discusses all
Australian dino fossils:  about a dozen are known from their bones,
although a couple are so fragmentary they are unnamed.  There are
illustrations or photos of most important specimens.  Another 10 or so
types are known from footprints.  He also discusses all other
amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals known from the Australian
Mesozoic (the book's subtitle is "and other Animals of the Triassic,
Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods") but even so it's a slim book, about 80
pages.

One dinosaur not listed is Timimus, which appeared in Australia's series
of dinosaur stamps issued last year.  I would guess it was discovered
too late for the book, which appeared in 1991.


The other book is not about dinosaurs, but I'll mention it because it's
gorgeous, and will be of interest.  "Riversleigh", by Michael Archer,
Suzanne Hand and Henk Godthelp, is about the findings at Aus's premier
fossil site.  Riversleigh has 150 deposits (many of rainforest
communities) spanning 25 million years of the Tertiary.  It has a
spectacular variety of well-preserved vertebrate fossils (bats, frogs,
lungfish, snakes, lizards, turtles, birds, marsupials), plus insects and
even some vegetation.  Prior to Riversleigh there were only about 40
known Tertiary mammal assemblages in Australia.  The over 150 mammal
species found there is more than twice as many as were discovered in the
whole of Australia in the previous century.  It's a large glossy book,
beautiful photos and illustrations, and lots of information, for AUS$40.
(first published in 1991, this is the 2nd edition)


I also visited the Queensland Museum, which has a mounted skeleton of
Muttaburrasaurs, and a replica of the fossil dinosaur trackways at
Winton.


--
Jim Foley                                    (303) 223-5100 x9765
Jim.Foley@FtCollinsCO.NCR.COM                NCR-MPD Fort Collins

  I was more impressed by the contents of my handkerchief the last
  time I blew my nose.            -- Edmund Blackadder