Exciting discoveries were made in Australia were several baby dinosaur fossils were found in. The fossils were spotted among several sites spread across the southern coast of Victoria and near Lightning Ridge, a remote town in New South Wales.
Some of the bones are so small that the dinosaurs may have died while they were still in the eggs. Larger bones recovered from Victoria are linked to specimens that hatched but did not leave the nest.
Further observations revealed that the bones come from ornithopod dinosaurs, a species of small herbivores that walked on two legs and reached a weight of 20 kilograms at maturity. They are similar to the Weewarrasaurus, which was spotted by the same team near Lightning Ridge. The baby dinosaurs were very lightweight as they weighted almost 200 grams when they died.
Baby dinosaur unearthed in Australia
To estimate the age of the dinosaurs, the researchers used the growth rings that can be found in the bones. These growth rings are similar to the rings that can be found in tree trunks. While this method is useful in most cases, it couldn’t be used in the case of two of the smallest specimens since the details weren’t visible.
The researchers compared the size of the smaller bones with the growth rings found in the bones of Victorian dinosaurs. This comparison allowed them to conclude that the baby dinosaurs died during the early growth range.
More than 100 million years ago, dinosaurs still roamed the planet. Within that timeframe, Australia was closer to the poles. The temperatures encountered in the southern parts were on par with those encountered in modern-day Greenland. While the climate may have been tamer in the past, the dinosaurs faced dark winters that lasted for a long time. Eggshells and tiny bones are quite fragile and don’t tend to be preserved in a good state. The discoveries are quite impressive, and more data will be gathered in the future.