did that headline draw you in? how are my click bait skills shaping up? you thought this was going to be a practical joke, given we are about 400 km form the sea in hughenden? prepare to be amazed.
everyone knows the evil t-rex, the lizard that called all the other ones lunch? have you ever thought about why the t-rex rarely had a bath?
the guy in the photo above may have had something to do with it: it is called the kronosaurus queenslandicus. up to ten meters long, eleven tons heavy, propelled by four massive flippers powered by huge muscles and teeth up to thirty centimeters long i doubt anyone would have wanted to share the water with them.
this one, which actually looks like a bad boy in his own right, was what the kronosaurus would have called lunch: penny the plesiosaur. they were a little smaller than the kronosaurus but they shared the same sea, the shallow inland sea that covered most of queensland over long periods of time.
both were pliosaurs, marine reptiles that breathed air (like today’s crocodiles or turtles) and hunted smaller animals, like turtles, sharks or amonites, relatives of today’s nautilus.
many fossils have been found around richmond and hughenden, but excitingly many of them were almost complete, which actually happens quite rarely. we are so used to see complete dino skeletons, but in reality most of the time just a small part of an animal is found and scientists extrapolate from there.
as luck would have it penny as well as the original kronosaur fossils were in really good shape, a fact that has made this area a real heaven for paleontologists.
the exhibition in richmond, called kronosaur korner, is fantastic and really worth a visit. we also found the audio guide very well made; it provided a great insights and interesting insights (almost too detailed).
and this is one of the places where these fossils were found. yes, that’s correct: farmers were responsible for many of these important finds. and we expect there are many more hidden in the ground.