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2019 Santos Dinosaur Dig Report

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Another dinosaur dig done!! As always you never quite know what to expect when you are digging up dinosaurs but this year certainly turned things on its head in terms of what we expected. We were fully expecting that the Monty site may dry up and then we would move onto another site close by. The unexpected happened and we found ourselves moving down the bone bed onto a bone jamb of beautifully preserved dinosaur bone all safely encased in the surrounding mudstone. Not only this, we found another dinosaur, smaller than the first one found in this bone bed two years ago, so, for now, we have Mr and Mrs Monty!

To add to our surprise as well the bone bed is continuing into the metres of mudstone exposed by our very skilled machinery operator Stephen Tully (thanks to Stephen). The extent of the fossil-bearing mudstone is yet to be determined as we haven’t been able to expose it all. By the end of the dig, well over a dozen more pallets of dinosaur material was excavated. This has all now been transported into the museum. The only downside is that we are now running out of storage for bones until we move the temporary workshop exhibition into the dedicated Stage two galleries. Once this happens we can add more rows of pallet racking to the workshop to store dinosaur bones.

Thank you to our major dig sponsor, Santos. Santos is the longest continuous sponsor of the dinosaur dig, they believed in this project right from the beginning and with their help have seen it continue to grow from year to year. Also big thank you for another one of biggest dig supporters, Eromanga Contracting who have generously delivered to dig site every year a 20-tonne excavator and backhoe. Thank you to IOR who also are very valuable supporters of the dig providing a trailer of diesel to keep things running. There plenty more people to thank, Quilpie Show Society for their marquee, photographer Steve Young, Geologist Mel Wilkinson (and one of the chief dig supervisors), our wonderful cooks and hosts Niecy and Dugald Smith, No-Mad Cooks and last but not least our dedicated and hardworking 2019 dinosaur dig team, thank you to each and every one of you. Of course, all this would have been impossible to do without the cooperation and support of the landholders, the Mackenzie family who also provide the use of the loader and shearers quarters every year.

Robyn Mackenzie 27/6/2019 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between megafauna fossils and dinosaur fossils?

Dinosaurs are reptiles that went extinct 64 million years ago. They grew to gigantic sizes.  They lived in a time when Australia was a very different place to what it is today, and part of the ancient landmass called Gondwana. The Eromanga dinosaurs are estimated to be 95-98 million years old and lived during the late Cretaceous.

Megafauna are the group of animals that evolved after the dinosaurs died.  They were very large marsupials, reptiles and flightless birds and went extinct about 20,000 years ago.  Some of their descendants still exist today in much smaller forms such as kangaroos, wombats, komodo dragons and crocodiles.  The Eulo megafauna lived during Pleistocene approximately 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. 

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