The 2001 and 2002 Elliot digs

Work at the 2002 Elliot dig. Photo:
Scott Hocknull.

The excavation of Elliot the sauropod, Australia's largest dinosaur, commenced in September 2001, when Winton grazier Dave Elliott invited a team of Queensland Museum palaeontologists to his property. A number of bones were recovered, including the remainder of Elliot's 1.6 metre long thighbone, the first portion of which was found by Dave in 1999 while he was out mustering sheep. A follow-up excavation in 2002, involving more than 40 volunteers, unearthed many more bones. At the time, it was thought that most of them belonged to Elliot, but it has since become apparent that the majority belong to a second, smaller sauropod, nick-named ? Mary'.

Find out more about the 2001 and 2002 Elliot digs

The 2003 Elliot dig

The 2003 Elliot dig took place during the first two weeks of September. In addition to members of the Elliott family, 21 people participated. A total of 27 jackets were collected, containing at least the equivalent number of bones. Some of the better-preserved bones include sauropod limb elements and vertebrae, and parts of what look to be medium-sized turtles and crocodilians. On-site sieving of the sediment associated with the bones was carried out, and also proved to be productive, with numerous crocodilian teeth and many small fragments of bone being found.

Work at the 2003 Elliot dig. Photo: Chris
Stacey, The University of Queensland.

Find out more about the 2003 Elliot dig

The excavation of Elliot and Mary continued in 2004. To find out more, see the The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Inc. website.