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Australovenator facts for kids

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Australovenator
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
~95Ma
Banjo Australovenator.jpg
Reconstructed skeleton, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Winton, Australia
Scientific classification
Genus:
Australovenator
Species:
wintonensis

Australovenator is a medium-sized theropod dinosaur that lived in Australia about 100 million years ago.

The fossil bones of the dinosaur were found at an ancient billabong near Winton, Queensland. Scientists have called him "Banjo", after the famous Australian poet, Banjo Patterson. Patterson wrote the song "Waltzing Matilda" after a visit to Winton in 1885.

The dinosaur was discovered in 2009, with several others such as the sauropods Diamantinasaurus and Wintonotitan. It was the most complete theropod skeleton to be found in Australia, as of 2009.

Description

"Banjo" was a medium-sized, fast, carnivorous dinosaur with three large, sharp claws on each hand. It stood about two meters tall. Dinosaur expert Scott Hocknull described Australovenator wintonensis as being like a cheetah.

A phylogenetic analysis found Australovenator to be an allosaurid carnosaur. More studies showed it formed a clade with several other carcharodontosaurid-like allosaurs, the Neovenatoridae.

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