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Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous, 100 mya
Banjo Australovenator.jpg
Scientific classification

Hocknull et al., 2009

Australovenator is a medium-sized theropod dinosaur that lived in Australia about 100 million years ago.

The fossil bones of the dinosaur were found at an ancient billabong near Winton, Queensland. Scientists have called him "Banjo", after the famous Australian poet, Banjo Patterson.[1] Patterson wrote the song "Waltzing Matilda" after a visit to Winton in 1885.[1]

The dinosaur was discovered in 2009, with several others such as the sauropods Diamantinasaurus and Wintonotitan.[2] It was the most complete theropod skeleton to be found in Australia, as of 2009.[1]

Description[change | change source]

"Banjo" was a medium-sized, fast, carnivorous dinosaur with three large, sharp claws on each hand. It stood about two meters tall.[3] Dinosaur expert Scott Hocknull described Australovenator wintonensis as being like a cheetah.[2]

A phylogenetic analysis found Australovenator to be an allosaurid carnosaur.[1] More studies showed it formed a clade with several other carcharodontosaurid-like allosaurs, the Neovenatoridae.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hocknull, Scott A. et al (2009). "New mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia". PLoS ONE 4 (7): e6190. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006190. PMC 2703565. PMID 19584929. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | New dinosaurs found in Australia". 3 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  3. "Three new dinosaurs found in western Queensland". Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  4. Benson R.B.J. et al (2010). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic". Naturwissenschaften 97 (1): 71–78. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. PMID 19826771.