The Winton sauropods
Australia's lost giants
Between 98 and 95 million years ago, the forested floodplains surrounding the inland sea that covered much of Queensland and central Australia were dominated by sauropods. The fossilised remains of these gigantic herbivorous dinosaurs have been found in the rocks underlying the rolling Mitchell grass downs that surround the outback town of Winton, central-western Queensland.
The Winton sauropods include the largest dinosaur yet found on Australian soil ? an animal that has been nicknamed 'Elliot'. Remains of Elliot were first found in 1999 by local grazier and namesake Dave Elliott.
Recently, the site where the excavation of Elliot is taking place produced the remains of a second, much smaller sauropod, christened 'Mary' in honour of former Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Mary Wade. This is the first time that more than one sauropod skeleton has been found at a single site anywhere in Australia.
Salisbury, S. W., Molnar, R. E. & Lamanna, M. C. 2006. A new titanosauriform sauropod from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Winton Formation of central-western Queensland, Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26 (Supplement to Number 4), 118A.
Molnar, R.E. & Salisbury, S.W. 2005. Observations on Cretaceous sauropods from Australia. 454-465 In Carpenter, K. & Tidwell, V. (eds). Thunder-Lizards: the sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, Bloomingon, Indiana.
Salisbury, S. W. 2003a. Clash of the titans: the world's largest dinosaurs. Nature Australia, 27 (7), 44-51.
Salisbury, S. W. 2002. A giant awakes. Australian Geographic, 65, 100-105.