Outback Discovery: Scientists Excited by Major Dinosaur Find in Queensland

Palaeontologists in Queensland have made a remarkable discovery at the Richmond Fossil Hunting Sites. A nearly complete pterosaur fossil, nicknamed “The Crash Site,” has been unearthed. The fossil is estimated to be 100 million years old and boasts an impressive wingspan of 4.6 meters. This significant find will be unveiled to the public on April 3rd at Kronosaurus Korner, a museum renowned for its collection of pterosaur fossils.

“The Crash Site” is particularly interesting due to its level of completeness. At 22% complete, the fossil includes a variety of bones, including parts of the snout, complete lower jaws with over 40 teeth, vertebrae, ribs, wing bones, leg bones, and even rare throat bones. The presence of these delicate throat bones is especially noteworthy, as they are seldom preserved in the fossil record. Researchers believe the length of these bones relative to the lower jaw suggests the pterosaur had a powerful tongue.

Kevin Petersen preparing Petrie at The Crash Site
Kevin Petersen preparing Petrie at The Crash Site

This discovery wasn’t the only exciting find at the Richmond Fossil Hunting Sites. Kronosaurus Korner Curator Kevin Petersen, while searching the public dig areas, also unearthed a significant pterosaur skull nicknamed “Petrie.” This skull likely represents a new species entirely, adding another piece to the puzzle of prehistoric life in Australia.

“The great thing about Richmond is that anyone can come out and dig for fossils!” said Mr. Petersen, Curator at Kronosaurus Korner. The abundance of pterosaur fossils at Richmond, with 41 registered specimens out of 1500 total, exemplifies this perfectly. These discoveries highlight the potential for anyone, with a keen eye and a sense of adventure, to contribute to palaeontology. Public participation in the digs at Richmond can lead to significant finds, like “The Crash Site” and “Petrie,” helping us piece together the fascinating puzzle of Australia’s prehistoric past.