Wintonotitan fossils were first found in 1974, but were named to the genus Austrosaurus, the only Cretaceous sauropod from Australia known at that time. In 2009, the partial skeleton originally found consisting of a scapula (shoulder blade), partial left and right arms, and fragmentary vertebrae, ribs, hips and more were named as the type specimen of Wintonotitan wattsi . Some caudal (tail) vertebrae found later were also referred to this species. It lived during the mid Cretaceous (approximately 100 million years ago) of Australia, found near a town in the northwest (Queensland) called Winton, hence the name. It is a basal titanosauriform, which includes well known dinosaurs like Saltasaurus and Argentinosaurus, and like other sauropods, it was a large herbivore that walked on all four legs. The fossils of Wintonotitan were found in a sandstone, along with fish fragments, a theropod tooth, and several plant fossils. It lived alongside pterosaurs, other dinosaurs like Australovenator and Diamantinasaurus, insects, bivalves, and more. It lived among many plants like ferns, ginkgoes, flowering plants, and more.
|Wintonotitan by T. Tishler from Hocknull et al. |
1. Hocknull, S.A. et al. 2009. New mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS ONE 4: e6190. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006190