Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 4 (7), e6190

New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia

Affiliations

New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia

Scott A Hocknull et al. PLoS One.

Abstract

Background: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids.

Methodology/principal findings: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp.

Conclusion/significance: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus).

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Locality Map and Stratigraphy.
Showing the locations of QML 313 and AODL 85, northwest of Winton, Queensland, Australia (A). Cretaceous Stratigraphy of the Eromanga Basin, Queensland. Litho- and palynostratigraphy of the Cretaceous portion of the Eromanga Basin, Queensland. Arrow indicates the position of the type localities QML 313 and AODL 85 within the sequence (B). Adapted from .
Figure 2
Figure 2. Silhouettes of the three new dinosaurs showing the material currently known from their respective holotypes.
A–B. Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov. (AODF 603); A. Right side, B. Left side. C. Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov. (QMF 7292); Left view. D. Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov. (QMF 7292); Right view. Artwork: T. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Dorsal ribs of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Mid-dorsal rib in lateral (A), anterior (B) and posterior (C) views. Posterior dorsal rib in posterior (A) and anterior (B) views.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Scapula and sternal plate of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Right scapula in lateral view (A). Left sternal plate in ventral view (B). Abbreviations: ac, acromial blade; crsp, cranial ridge of sternal plate; cs, coracoid suture; sb, scapular blade; sg, scapula glenoid. Dashed line indicates suggested area missing from specimen.
Figure 5
Figure 5. Humeri of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Left humerus in medial (A), anterior (B), lateral (C) and posterior (D). Right humerus in lateral (E), anterior (F), medial (G) and posterior (H).
Figure 6
Figure 6. Ulna of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Right ulna in lateral (A), anterior (B), medial (C), posterior (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Abbreviations: cp, caudal process; lp, lateral process; mp, medial process; op, olecranon process.
Figure 7
Figure 7. Manus reconstruction of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Preserved right manus in antero-external view (A) and proximal (B) views. Right manus reconstruction using left Mc I (reversed) and ungual in antero-external (C) and proximal (D) views.
Figure 8
Figure 8. Metacarpals and phalanges of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Left Metacarpal (Mc) I in external (A), internal (B), medial (C), lateral (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Right Mc II in external (G), internal (H), medial (I), lateral with phalange (J), proximal (K) and distal (L) views. Right Mc III in external (M), internal (N), medial (O), lateral (P), proximal (Q) and distal (R) views. Right Mc IV in external (S), internal (T), medial (U), lateral (V), proximal (W) and distal (X) views. Right Mc V in external (Y), internal (Z), medial (AA), lateral (BB), proximal (CC) and distal (DD) views. Manus ungual in anterior (EE), posterior (FF) and proximal (GG) views. Mc II.1 phalange in dorsal (A1), medial (A2), lateral (A3), distal (A4) and proximal (A5) views. Mc III.1 phalange in ventral (B1), dorsal (B2), proximal (B3) views. Mc IV.1 phalange in dorsal (C1) and distal (C2) views.
Figure 9
Figure 9. Pelvis of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Left reconstructed pelvis in lateral (A) view. Left ilium in anterior view (B) showing the position of the sacral vertebrae. Right pubis and ischium in medial (C), proximal (D) and lateral (E) views. Right ischium in lateral (F) and medial (G) views. Reconstructed right and left ischia in dorsal view. Abbreviations: ip, ischial peduncle; iip, iliac peduncle of ischium; of, obturator foramen; pa, pubio-ischial contact; pip, iliac peduncle of pubis; ppd, pubic peduncle; ppp, preacetabular process of ilium; s, sacrum; sym, fused ischial symphysis.
Figure 10
Figure 10. Femur of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Right femur in posterior (A), proximal (B) and distal (C) views. Arrow indicates proximal post-mortem crack running distally. Dashed line indicates horizontal plane on which the distal condyles are oriented. Tibia of Diamantinasaurus matildae. Right tibia in proximal (D), lateral (E), anterior (F), medial (G), posterior (H), distal (I) views, and articulated with astragalus in distal view (J). Abbreviations: as, astragalus; cc, cnemial crest; ft fourth trochanter; lb, lateral bulge.
Figure 11
Figure 11. Fibula of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Right fibula in lateral (A), medial (B), proximal (C) and distal (D) views.
Figure 12
Figure 12. Astragalus of Diamantinasaurus matildae.
Right astragalus in proximal (A), medial (B), postero-medial (C), posterior (D), distal (E), lateral (F) and antero-lateral (G).
Figure 13
Figure 13. Dorsal vertebrae of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Partial dorsal centrum in lateral (A) and posterior (B) views. Isolated neural spine in anterior view (C). Anterior caudal vertebrae of Wintonotitan wattsi. Anterior caudal vertebra in lateral (D) and anterior (E) views. Anterior caudal vertebra in posterior (F), lateral (G) and ventral (H) views. Anterior caudal vertebra in anterior (I), lateral (J) and ventral (K) views. Abbreviations: plc, pleurocoel; pcdl, posterior centrodiapophyseal lamina; prel, prespinal lamina; spl, spino-prezygopophyseal lamina.
Figure 14
Figure 14. Middle and posterior caudal vertebrae of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Middle caudal vertebra in lateral (A), dorsal (B) and anterior (C). Posterior caudal vertebrae in lateral (D, G, H, J, M, P, S, V), dorsal (E, H, K, N, Q, T, W) and anterior (F, I, L, O, R, U, X) views. Abbreviations: bic, incipient biconvexity.
Figure 15
Figure 15. Chevrons of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Anterior chevrons in anterior view (A–E). Chevron in (A) is attached to an anterior caudal centrum.
Figure 16
Figure 16. Scapula and Humeri of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Partial left humerus in posterior (A) and anterior (B) views. Partial right humerus in posterior (C) and anterior (D) views. E. Reconstructed left humerus in anterior view by reversing (D) and aligning shaft curvature with (B). F. Reconstructed right humerus in posterior view by reversing (A) and aligning shaft curvature with (C). Left scapula in lateral (G) and medial (H) views. Dashed lines represent suggested missing areas.
Figure 17
Figure 17. Radii and ulnae of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Right radius in anterior (A) view. Left radius in medial (B), posterior (C), anterior (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Left ulna in antero-lateral view (G). Right ulna in antero-lateral view (H). Reconstructed left humerus, ulna (reversed H and combined with G) and radius (B) in antero-lateral view. Dashed lines represent suggested missing areas.
Figure 18
Figure 18. Metacarpals of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Articulated right metacarpals in proximal (A), distal (B) and antero-external (C) views. Mc I in proximal (D), external (E), internal (F), lateral (G) views. Mc II in external (H), internal (I), lateral (J), medial (K) views. Mc III in external (L), internal (M), lateral (N) and medial (O) views. Mc IV in external (P), internal (Q), lateral (R), medial (S) views. Mc V in external (T), internal (U), lateral (V), medial (W) views.
Figure 19
Figure 19. Pelvis of Wintonotitan wattsi.
Preacetabular lobe of ilium in dorsal (A), ventral (B) and lateral (C) views. Arrow indicates the axis of the sacrum. Partial posterior sacral vertebra in lateral (D) and dorsal (E) views. Left ischium in lateral (F) and medial (G) views. Abbreviations: ip, iliac peduncle; ppd, pubic peduncle; ppp, preacetabular process of ilium.
Figure 20
Figure 20. Teeth of Australovenator wintonensis.
Isolated teeth in labial (A, C, E, F, G, I, J, L) and labial (B, D, F, H, J, K) views. A–B. Anterior dentary tooth or premaxillary tooth. C–L. Dentary teeth.
Figure 21
Figure 21. Tooth wear in Australovenator wintonensis.
Tooth wear facets (dotted line) identified on teeth in labial (A, C, D, F) and lingual (B, E) views.
Figure 22
Figure 22. Dentary of Australovenator wintonensis.
Left dentary in dorsal (A–B), lingual (C–D) and labial (E–F) views. Numbers represent tooth loci (alveoli) position. Abbreviations: al, alveolus, ian, foramina for branches of the inferior alveolar nerve; idp, interdental plates (fused); imp, intramandibular process of dentary; mf, Meckalian foramen; mg, Meckalian groove; pnf, primary neurovascular foramina row; pra, contact for prearticular; snf, secondary neurovascular foramina; sym, symphysis.
Figure 23
Figure 23. Dorsal ribs of Australovenator wintonensis.
1st right dorsal rib in posterior (A) and anterior (B) views. 2nd or 3rd right dorsal rib in posterior (C) and anterior (D) views. 7th or 8th left dorsal rib in anterior (E) and posterior (F) views. Gastralia of Australovenator wintonensis. Gastralia arranged in right and left position in dorsal view (G). Abbreviations: cap, capitulum; csgr, costal groove; icr, intercostal ridge; mcr, medial costal ridge; pn, pneumatic pore and cavity; tub, tuberculum; web, capitulo-tubercular web.
Figure 24
Figure 24. Ilium of Australovenator wintonensis.
Partial right ilium in lateral (A) and ventral (B) views. Abbreviations: act, acetabulum; ip, ischial peduncle; pre, preacetabular process.
Figure 25
Figure 25. Ulnae of Australovenator wintonensis.
Left and right ulnae in posterior (A, G), anterior (B, H), lateral (C, D), medial (D, J), proximal (E, K) and distal (F, L) views. Abbreviations: cp, coronoid process; haf, humeral articular facet; lt, lateral tuberosity; me, medial expansion of distal end; oc, olecranon process; ulg, lateral groove; rf, radial facet.
Figure 26
Figure 26. Radius of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right radius in anterior (A), posterior (B), lateral (C), medial (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views.
Figure 27
Figure 27. Metacarpals of Australovenator wintonensis.
Mc I in ventral (A), dorsal (B), lateral (C), medial (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Mc II in dorsal (G), ventral (H), lateral (I) medial (J), proximal (K), distal (L).
Figure 28
Figure 28. Manus of Australovenator wintonensis.
Mc III.4 in lateral (A), media (B) and proximal (C) views. Mc III.3 in dorsal (D), ventral (E), lateral (F), medial (G), distal (H), proximal (I). Mc II.2 in dorsal (J), ventral (K), lateral (L), medial (M), distal (N), proximal (O).
Figure 29
Figure 29. Manus of Australovenator wintonensis.
Mc I.2 in lateral (A), medial (B) and proximal (C) views. Left Mc I.1 in proximal (D), distal (E), dorsal (F), ventral (G), lateral (H) and medial (I) views. Right Mc I.1 in proximal (J), distal (K), dorsal (L), ventral (M), lateral (N) and medial (O) views.
Figure 30
Figure 30. Femur of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right femur in anterior (A), posterior (B), lateral (C), medial (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Abbreviations: at, accessory trochanter; ctf, crista tibiofibularis; eg, extensor groove; fc, fibular condyle, fg, flexor groove; fh, femoral head (caput); ft, forth trochanter; gt, greater trochanter; lst; lessor trochanter; mdc, medial-distal (epicondyle) crest; pfc, posterior flange of caput; rg, ridge superior to lesser trochanter; tc, tibial condyle.
Figure 31
Figure 31. Tibiae of Australovenator wintonensis.
Left tibia in antero-medial (A), postero-lateral (B), lateral (C), postero-medial (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views. Right tibia in proximal (G), distal (H), medial (J), medial (K), posterior (L), anterior (M) views and close-up of proximal end in postero-lateral view (I). Abbreviations: cn, cnemial crest; clp, cranio-lateral process; cast, cranial astragalar facet; dast, astragalar facet (distal); ff, fibular flange; it, incisura tibialis; lc, lateral condyle; lm, lateral malleolus; mc, medial condyle; mm, medial malleolus; pvr, postero-ventral ridge; vp, ventral process of lateral condyle.
Figure 32
Figure 32. Fibula of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right fibula in anterior (A), posterior (B), medial (C), lateral (D), proximal (E), distal (F). Abbreviations: fo, fossa; gr, groove, itf, attachment for interosseum tibiofibulare; pcp, proximo-cranial process; tf, tibial facet.
Figure 33
Figure 33. Astragalus of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right astragalus in doral (A–B), ventral (C), medial (D), lateral (E) and proximal (F) views. Dotted lines demarcated superior and inferior cranial grooves. Abbreviations: cpp, cranio-proximal process; icg, inferior cranial groove; spg, superior cranial groove.
Figure 34
Figure 34. Metatarsals of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right Mt I in dorsal (A), ventral (B), flexor (C) and distal (D) views. Right Mt III in anterior (E), posterior (F), lateral (G), medial (H), proximal (I) and distal (J) views. Abbreviations: etp, extensor triangular process.
Figure 35
Figure 35. Metatarsal III of Australovenator wintonensis.
Right Mt III in dorsal (A), ventral (B), lateral (C), medial (D), proximal (E) and distal (F) views.
Figure 36
Figure 36. Pedal phalanges of Australovenator wintonensis.
Phalanges in dorsal (A, G, M, S), ventral (B, H, N, T), lateral (C, I, O, U), medial (D, J, P, V), proximal (E, K, Q, W) and distal (F, L, R, X) views.
Figure 37
Figure 37. Pedal unguals of Australovenator wintonensis.
Unguals in dorsal (A, F), ventral (B, G), lateral (C, H), medial (D, I) and proximal (E, J) views.
Figure 38
Figure 38. Phylogenetic position of the three new dinosaurs.
A–B. Diamantinasaurus matildae and Wintonotitan wattsi. Most-parsimonious tree (MPT) from first analysis (tree length (TL) = 325 steps; consistency index (CI) = 0.64; retention index (RI) = 0.99) (A) and MPT from the second analysis (TL = 220; CI = 0.58; RI = 0.93) (B). C. Phylogenetic position of Australovenator wintonensis. Strict consensus tree of 5 MPTs (TL = 181; CI = 0.59; RI = 0.91). Bootstrap values provided at the nodes (>50%).
Figure 39
Figure 39. Palaeobiogeographic map and strato-phylogeny of Australovenator wintonensis.
A. Palaeogeographic globe for the Early and middle Cretaceous . White-lettered taxa represent allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. Yellow-lettered taxa represent members of the Carcharodontosauridae. B. Stratigraphically calibrated phylogeny based on the phylogeny of the current analysis and adapted from .
Figure 40
Figure 40. Reconstructions of Diamantinasaurus matildae, Wintonotitan wattsi, and Australovenator wintonensis.
Artistic representations of the three dinosaur taxa described here. Australovenator (top); Wintonotitan (middle); Diamantinasaurus (bottom). Artwork by: T. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 34 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Vickers-Rich P, Rich T. Wildlife of Gondwana. New South Wales, Australia: Reed Books; 1993. p. 276.
    1. Long JA. Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand and other animals of the Mesozoic Era. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales Press; 1998. p. 188.
    1. Scanlon J. Chapter 15. Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of Australasia. In: Merrick JR, Archer M, Hickey GM, Lee MSY, editors. Evolution and Biogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. New South Wales: Auscipub; 2006. p. 942.
    1. Hocknull S. Trawling for the White Gold. Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History Annual. 2005;3:27–43.
    1. Hocknull S. End of an Age – Birth of an Era. Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History Annual. 2006;4:67–83.

Publication types

Feedback