"We are steadily building a picture of terrestrial dinosaur interchange between the shifting Gondwanan continents of Australia, South America, and Antarctica during the Cretaceous period", he said in a statement. Herne says this "affirms that on a worldwide scale, the diversity of these little bodied dinosaurs had been curiously high in the ancient rift valley that once stretched out between the spreading continent of Australia and Antarctica".
"These small dinosaurs would have been agile runners on their powerful hind legs". The wallaby-sized herbivorous dinosaur has been identified from five fossilized upper jaws in 125-million-year-old rocks from the Cretaceous period of Victoria, southeastern Australia.
Millions of years ago, Australia was home to a species of plant-eating dinosaurs that grew to about the size of a modern-day wallaby.More news: Swedish student Greta's climate 'school strike' goes global
Writing in the Journal of Paleontology, the team dubs the dinosaur Galleonosaurus dorisae-a name inspired by the shape of the creature's jaw, which resembles a galleon ship, and paleontologist Doris Seegets-Villiers, who wrote her Ph.D. thesis on the area where the fossils were found.
Galleonosaurus was also found to be a close relative of Diluvicursor pickeringi, another small ornithopod that was also named by Herne and his colleagues, and found to the west of Gippsland. Over time, they blended with dinosaur bones and fallen bushes.
Finding the scant remains of dinosaurs that roamed the Earth tens of millions of years ago obviously isn't easy.More news: United States envoy says progress made in talks with Taliban
Gallenosaurus was buried in volcanic sediments carried by what was as soon as a community of deep, swift rivers.
"This land has now vanished, but as "time-travellers" we get snapshots of this remarkable world via the rocks and fossils exposed along the coast of Victoria", Herne said.
Researchers from the Dinosaur Dreaming project, which runs out of Monash University and Museum Victory, discovered the dinosaur, which was reportedly smaller than most common ones. "The sediments washed by rivers into the rift valley created a forested river floodplain upon which dinosaurs such as Galleonosaurus and many other types of dinosaurs and other animals flourished", Herne told Live Science. That's even harder still, but researchers in Victoria, Australia did just that, and the newly documented herbivore would probably have been pretty adorable to see in person. With new technologies, he adds, scientists are able to shine unprecedented light on "the mysterious world of dinosaur ecology-what they ate, how they moved and how they coexisted-and their evolutionary relationships with dinosaurs from other continents".More news: Kohlschreiber shocks Djokovic at Indian Wells