A NEW species of dinosaur has been discovered in Australia, in what scientists have described as a “heavily-armoured, sheep-size creature with a parrot-like beak.”
The creature, named Kunbarrasaurus, was actually discovered in 1989 by a team of experts from the University of Queensland, but new research revealed the dinosaur belongs to a completely different species than previously thought.
Kunbarrasaurus is said to belong to the ankylosaur family — a four-legged, herbivorous creature which possessed bones in its skin and was closely related to stegenosaurs.
The skeleton is to this day one of the most complete of its kind ever to be found in Australia and it remains one of the world’s best preserved.
University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences PhD student Lucy Leahey said the fossil bore a close resemblance to how the modern day crocodile is structured.
She said: “Ankylosaurs were a group of four-legged, herbivorous dinosaurs, closely related to stegosaurs.
“Like crocodiles, they had bones in their skin and are commonly referred to as ‘armoured’ dinosaurs.
“When it was first studied back in the 1990s, the fossil was placed it in the same genus as Australia’s only other named ankylosaur, Minmi, which is based on some bones from Roma in south-western Queensland.”
Experts believe this new revelation makes it clear that the Kubarrasaurus should be considered as new, never-before-seen dinosaur species.
University of Queensland Dr Steve Salisbury said: “Our work has also revealed that Kunbarrasaurus is more primitive than the majority of other well-known ankylosaurs from North America and Asia.”
“It appears to represent an early, less heavily ‘armoured’ member of the group, close to the point at which the ankylosaurs diverged from the other main lineage of armoured dinosaurs, the stegosaurs.”