Research

Australotitan cooperensis

Description: A new giant sauropod, Australotitan cooperensis gen. et sp. nov., from the mid-Cretaceous of Australia.

Scott A. Hocknull, Melville Wilkinson, Rochelle Ann Lawrence, Vladislav Konstantinov, Stuart Mackenzie, Robyn Mackenzie

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Oss-trah-low-tie-tan coo-per-ennsiss (pronunciation)

Name Meaning: Australo – meaning southern in Greek and in reference to the southern continent of Australia;  titan – from the Greek mythological Titan gods and in reference to its gigantic size; cooperensis – being from the Cooper-Eromanga Basin, Cooper Creek system, ‘the Cooper Country”.

Family:  Titanosauria, large-sized plant eating (herbivous)     sauropod dinosaur

Location: Near Eromanga, Quilpie Shire, South West Qld, Southern-central Winton Formation of the Eromanga Basin.

Age: ~93-96 million years ago, Cenomanian/Turonion Epoch, mid-Cretaceous Period

Size: ~28-30m long 6.5m high (ground to hip) and an estimated 67 tonnes Log humeral circumference vs log femoral circumference – Anderson et al. (1985), Campione and Evans (2012), and Benson et al. (2014)

Significance:  Australia’s largest dinosaur and in the top 5 largest dinosaurs in the world by length and mass. The first record of dinosaurs from the southern-central Winton Formation of the Eromanga Basin, Australia.

Story of Discovery:  Discovered by landholders, Stuart and Robyn Mackenzie on their property west of Eromanga in 2006.  The site was excavated between 2006-2009, by the Eromanga Natural History Museum, with the scientific and technical support of the Queensland Museum.  Dr Scott Hocknull and others described Australotitan cooperensis in PeerJ in 2021.

Major sponsors and supporters:

  • Santos –  Founding dig sponsor
  • Eromanga Earthmovers –  Earthmoving  and other machinery
  • Marquee and other support –   Tom and Janine Meakin and Bill Pegler
Titanosaur human scale
Map of Australia showing capital cities and ENHM

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