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Re: "Britain was dinosaur heaven 140m years ago"

Hi Tim

Ah... just the update I needed. We did have a few late surviving large amphibians, if "Walking With Dinosaurs" is correct on that score - and I haven't read anything on the contrary. Apparently some new Cretaceous material is starting to be dug up in the Outback, so there's doubtless more good news to come. What I saw on TV the fossil formations being exposed were very soft - fortunately the weathering in the area is very low intensity. Multi-year droughts are good for something. Would be nice to have something really nasty turn up, tho that "Kronosaur" was pretty close. A few nicely preserved "Dromeosaur" claws or something.


Tim Williams wrote:

Hi All

Gondwana seems to have missed out on all the exciting stuff. Here in Oz
the dinos all seem a bit retro


I think part of the problem is that the "retro" nature of many Oz dinosaurs was based on erroneous conclusions about their affinities. Many Oz dinosaurs from the Cretaceous were once fingered as "relict" or "primitive" members of their respective groups.

For example, the "primitive" Cretaceous sauropod _Austrosaurus_ was once thought to be a late-surviving 'cetiosaur'. It's now been established quite convincingly that _Austrosaurus_ is a titanosauriform.

The "_Allosaurus_" astragalus (NMV Pl50070), which was supposed to prove that _Allosaurus_ survived into the mid-Cretaceous of Australia, is probably not even from an allosaurid.

_Rapator_ (another Cretaceous theropod) was initially linked to the Late 
Jurassic _Ornitholestes_ (hence the species name _ornitholestoides_); but the 
single bone probably comes from an alvarezsaurid.

Last but not least, some older phylogenies had _Minmi_ outside the 
ankylosaurid-nodosaurid clade, as some kind of basal ankylosaur.  More recent 
phylogenies have tended to nest _Minmi_ inside the Ankylosauridae.


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