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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
~95 Ma
Reconstructed skeleton, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Winton, Australia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Megaraptora
Family: Megaraptoridae
Genus: Australovenator
Hocknull et al. 2009
A. wintonensis
Binomial name
Australovenator wintonensis
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 2006, 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". 3 July 2009. 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. Bibcode:2010NW.....97...71B. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. PMID 19826771. S2CID 22646156.