2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Dinosaurs

Muttaburrasaurus skeleton at the Queensland Museum.
Muttaburrasaurus skeleton
at the Queensland Museum.
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Ornithopoda
Infraorder: Iguanodontia
Family: Rhabdodontidae
Genus: Muttaburrasaurus
Species: M. langdoni
Binomial name
Muttaburrasaurus langdoni
Bartholomai & Molnar, 1981

Muttaburrasaurus was a herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur related to Camptosaurus and Iguanodon, from the early Cretaceous Period of what is now northeastern Australia. After Minmi, it is Australia's most completely known dinosaur from skeletal remains.

Discovery and species

The species was initially described from a partial skeleton found by Doug Langdon in 1963 near Muttaburra, Queensland, Australia, which place also provides the creature's name. It was named in 1981 by Dr Alan Bartholomai and Ralph Molnar, who honoured its discoverer with its specific name langdoni. Some teeth have been discovered further north, near Hughenden and south at Lightning Ridge, in Northwestern New South Wales. A skull, known as the "Dunluce Skull" was discovered by John Stewart-Moore and 14 year old Robert Walker on Dunluce Station, between Hughenden and Richmond in 1987.

Muttaburrasaurus species

  • M. langdoni ( type)


Muttaburrasaurus was capable of either ( bipedal) or ( quadrupedal) movement. The three middle digits of the forelimb were joined together into a hoof-like pad for walking on.

Muttaburrasaurus had very powerful jaws equipped with shearing teeth. These were probably an adaptation for eating tough vegetation such as cycads. It also had an enlarged, hollow, upward-bulging muzzle that might have been used to produce distinctive calls or for display purposes. However, as no fossilised nasal tissue has been found, this remains conjectural.

In popular culture

Another view of cast in Queensland Museum
Another view of cast in Queensland Museum

Reconstructed skeleton casts are on display at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama, Japan, and at the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden, Queensland.

Muttaburrasaurus appeared on the fifth episode of Walking with Dinosaurs.

A Muttaburrasaurus character would also be featured in the third " The Land Before Time" sequel.

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