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Exciting New Specimens Uncovered at Dig Site

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stuart and Robyn Mackenzie from The Cooper Eromanga Basin Natural History Society are pleased to report that the latest dinosaur excavation and dig held west of Eromanga in May has unearthed some exciting new specimens of fossilised bone belonging to Australia’s largest dinosaur Cooper, the already famous Titanosaur, and one of the world’s largest dinosaurs.

This was the second official dig held over a two week period like the first one and it was another success not only in the recovery of new material adding to the already impressive collection of bones recovered from Cooper, but also as a continuing working partnership between Santos, local landholders, the wider community both local and non-local and the Queensland Museum. Most significantly, the bones that were found will play a very important role in accurately placing Cooper’s new species in the dinosaur family tree.

All the 2007 and 2008 dig dinosaur bones from Cooper are either being stored or prepped at the dinosaur bone preparation lab on the property where the bones were found west of Eromanga. Due to the huge amount of bone it will take many years to fully prepare them for scientific study so the work of the Mackenzie’s and their band of volunteers both local and non-local will continue for a long time to come.

The Cooper Eromanga Basin Natural History Society is the official body in charge of unearthing Cooper into the future and thanks to support from a great many organisations and individuals including major sponsor Santos, and local sponsors Bill Pegler from Eromanga Earthmoving and Eagle Galleries, more digs are planned. A recent trip to Adelaide to meet with Santos officials saw Robyn and Stuart strengthen the partnership with the mining giants as they have showed interest in support for future excavation digs. The Cooper Eromanga Basin Natural History Society has also been a successful applicant to receive funding to the tune of $9,800 from the Q150 Community Funding Program which marks the 150 year centenary of Queensland’s separation from New South Wales in 2009. This money will help fund expenses for a freelance movie maker to take visual and audio footage at the dinosaur digs and field trips to document the excavation and preparation of Cooper, Australia’s largest dinosaur.

This footage will be used to compile a documentary style production with will be produced in high definition quality which is good enough for science programs such as National Geographic.

The Q150 Community Funding Program is now calling for applications for it’s third round of funding and so far over rounds one and two, there have been 180 projects successful in receiving funding throughout 120 towns and suburbs across the state.

Premier Anna Bligh says there will be plenty of competition for last round of funding of $2 million granting between $2000 and $10000 per community project and if the project has application to the past or the present, all the better.

The round three submission period begins on July 1 and ends September 5 and more information can be found at or by telephoning 1800 502 419.

Media Contact: Sarah Lilburn

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if a fossil site is discovered?

After looking at the fossils ensure all fragments are left where they were found in the field as this is crucial to discovering more bones in the same area. Do not disturb site but take a GPS reading and photos. If possible mark the site with a star picket and contact the Eromanga Natural History Museum for a scientific analysis.

Look at the ENHM on-line resources ‘How to recognise dinosaur sites in the Cooper Basin’.

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