in our good old metric system, which australia has adopted as well, that does not sound nearly as good: 40 degrees. nowadays that’s almost a normal summer day in austria, but after a couple of nice days with no more than 30 degrees in townsville this has been a bit of a shock.

the picture above is the picturesque city of charters towers, which was established a gold mining town. the hill in the middle of town still looks like sauron’s fortress after the return of the king. depressing.

you’ll read more about townsville in nat’s summary, i was preoccupied with my last assignment (for this semester).

initially we wanted to hug the coast, we love the sea. but we really could not pass through queensland and not check out the dino graveyard: hughenden, richmond and winton. we didn’t come up with that name, it’s what one of the displays said. spooky.

about 140 million years ago an inland sea covered parts of what was to become the australian continent (which broke from antarctica about 65 million years ago). the area around hughenden, where we are now, would have been on the shores of the eromanga sea, and the formidable muttaburrasaurus roamed. that’s the one poised to eat nat in the picture above. it has been named after the township of muttaburra south of here. the muttaburrasaurus was a plant eater and lived about 110 million years ago. it was about 7 meters tall, walked on its hind legs and had scales. as nat learned in townsville not all dinos had scales, many had feathers. apparently the t-rex had a little superman cape made of feathers, too.

other dino remains have been found here as well, we’ll see more when we visit the dino stampede in winton. until then we’ll have a look around here … and we’ll keep the aircon on.