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21 Muttaburrasaurus Facts You'll Never Forget

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In 1963, the first specimen of Muttaburrasaurus langdoni was accidentally discovered by a grazier named Doug Langdon. With their origins traced back to 125 - 100 million years ago, these ornithopods were among the Australian dinosaurs that could be reconstructed to a great extent, so they were one of the first species to be mounted and exhibited in museums in Australia. Specimens of the species were excavated from Mackunda Formation on Thompson River, located in the Muttaburra town of central Queensland, Australia. 

After discovery, Dr. Alan Bartholomai, a paleontologist, and Edward Dahms, an entomologist, collected the fossil remains for conducting research. Alan Bartholomai and Ralph E. Molnar attributed identification to the species of Muttaburrasaurus langdoni in 1981. Initially, it was classified as an iguanodontid and a member of the Rhabdodontidae family. It's considered to be a relative of the ornithopod Tenontosauridae, but do you know who the Muttaburrasaurus living relative is? 

Researchers believe that birds are the descendants of these primitive earth dwellers. If you want to bring along your kids to a museum, then make sure to visit the National Dinosaur Museum, Australian Museum, or Queensland Museum to behold the reconstructed skeletons of this ancient dinosaur.

You can also definitely reward your inquisitive mind by exploring these amusing facts about some other dinosaur species, such as the Brachytrachelopan and Xenotarsosaurus.

Muttaburrasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Muttaburrasaurus'?

Pronouncing the genus name is extremely simple as it goes 'mutt-ah-buhr-ah-sawr-us'. The generic and binomial name has derived from the place of discovery, that is, Muttaburra town and its discoverer Doug Langdon. The term 'Muttaburra' implies 'lizard'.

What type of dinosaur was a Muttaburrasaurus?

The Muttaburrasaurus has been classified as an iguanodontian ornithopod of the phylum Chordata and order Ornithischia that exhibited herbivorous tendencies.

In which geological period did the Muttaburrasaurus roam the earth?

The dinosaur species of Muttaburrasaurus langdoni belongs from the Middle Cretaceous epoch. These ornithopods lived on the blue planet between 125 - 100 million years ago. The specimen QM F6140 existed in the Albian to the early Cenomanian era.

When did the Muttaburrasaurus become extinct?

The time range within which the dinosaur population was completely erased from the earth needs some research at length. These dinosaurs became extinct some millions of years ago, even before humans existed.

Where did a Muttaburrasaurus live?

Fossilized remains extracted from Central Queensland and New South Wales indicate that the population of the species was quite abundant in Australia.

What was a Muttaburrasaurus' habitat?

The discovery of the holotype specimen from the layers of the formation near the Thompson River in Muttaburra town, Australia, indicates that the animal lived in a terrestrial habitat range that chiefly constituted conifer forests where it could also have easy access to plenty of plants.

Who did a Muttaburrasaurus live with?

The social behavior of this primitive animal remains to be deciphered. Perhaps these dinosaurs collected in groups while foraging or paired up during the breeding season. They might also have lived isolated.

How long did a Muttaburrasaurus live?

Since the dinosaur dwelled on the earth some million years ago during the Albian to the early Cenomanian period, detailed information about its life expectancy is lacking.

How did they reproduce?

The dinosaur engaged in oviparous reproduction, which means that after successful copulation, the females laid eggs. Although there's not much evidence of their behavior during the breeding season, the presence of the hollow, nasal muzzle indicates that the dinosaur produced distinctive calls and displays, especially during the breeding period. Post-hatching, the young were capable of living on their own. Parental care for the offspring was most probably lacking. The clutch size is unknown.

Muttaburrasaurus Fun Facts

What did a Muttaburrasaurus look like?

Muttaburrasaurus facts talk about the teeth of these gigantic plant-eating dinosaurs of Australia.

The dinosaur was moderate to large in size, but the most distinctive feature of this ancient dinosaur was its snout. The snout was peculiarly rounded, hollow, and enlarged. Other features include shorter forelimbs and a stiff, elongated tail. A Muttaburrasaurus skull was flat while the feet were broad and long, and each foot projected four toes.

How many bones did a Muttaburrasaurus have?

The well-preserved reconstructed Muttaburrasaurus skeleton has been exhibited in one of the major museums of Australia, namely the National Dinosaur Museum and Queensland Museum. The holotype QM F6140 was only 60% complete with a partial skeleton, lower jaws, and a skull. Portions of the skull, jawbone, pelvis, vertebrae, and both front, as well as hind legs, are well preserved in the museums. 

The second skull belonging to another specimen QM F14921 was also retrieved from Hughenden in Queensland, Australia. This second skull is believed to belong to an ever older Muttaburrasaurus species since it was retrieved from the ancient site of Allaru Mudstone. 

Some more remnants of opalized teeth, a scapula, and others had been found from Lightning Ridge. However, the exact number of bones constituting the complete skeletal framework hasn't yet been determined since the structure is not perfectly finished.

How did they communicate?

These Australian dinosaurs interacted with each other via distinctive vocalizations and displays. Some researchers believe that among the Muttaburrasaurus, trumpeting calls were perhaps common owing to the nasal muzzle. However, no conclusive statements can be made because no traces of nasal tissues could be traced in the fossils that were discovered from the excavation site.

How big was a Muttaburrasaurus?

An average Muttaburrasaurus length was somewhere around 26 ft (7.9 m). When compared with the Australian Shantungosaurus that measured around 50 ft (15 m), these dinosaurs were almost half the size. The height of the dinosaur hasn't yet been uncovered, but the Muttaburrasaurus size, in general, was pretty huge.

How fast could a Muttaburrasaurus move?

The Muttaburrasaurus could utilize both its hind legs as well as all fours to move depending on the sturdiness and length of its legs. Due to its large structure, the Ornithopod could traverse long distances within short intervals. However, its accurate movement speed still remains a mystery.

How much did a Muttaburrasaurus weigh?

The Australian ornithopod was extremely bulky with an approximate weight of 2,204.6-8,818.5 lb (1,000-4,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Neither sex has been attributed with special names. They are commonly referred to as male and female Muttaburrasaurus, respectively.

What would you call a baby Muttaburrasaurus?

In general, the baby of a dinosaur is regarded as young since it has no specific name. It is sometimes called a hatchling because it hatches from an egg, just like a baby bird.

What did they eat?

The Muttaburrasaurus engaged in a herbivorous diet primarily comprising a variety of plants. Perhaps its diet was composed of cycads, podocarps, club-mosses, and ferns that were plentiful in the forest understory that existed near the Eromanga Sea in present-day Australia. 

Some paleontologists like Ralph Molnar believe that apart from feeding on plant matter, these dinosaurs might have occasionally engaged in eating meat, too, owing to their teeth structure. The sharp teeth were more suited for slicing flesh. However, there's no concrete evidence to prove whether the dinosaur indulged in an omnivorous diet or if it was completely restricted to plant matter.

How aggressive were they?

There's no concrete evidence about the nature of the species of Muttaburrasaurus. However, it can be inferred that these dinosaurs weren't very violent because they lacked predatory instincts like the Tyrannosaurus rex. Aggression could have been exhibited in defense or during competitions for finding mating partners.

Did you know...

Did you know that the dinosaur featured in an episode of the documentary named 'Walking with Dinosaurs'? 

The local people of Australia preserved some of the remnants of the dinosaur as a souvenir. Later, most of these were returned when the local authority went out to hunt for the missing fragments.

Where were the Muttaburrasaurus' fossils found?

Two well preserved Muttaburrasaurus skeletal remains were excavated from Queensland, Australia. One was the holotype that was embedded in the Mackunda Formation. Partial remains of skeletons, opalized teeth, a scapula, and other fragments had been excavated from Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. Some isolated teeth were also found at the Iona Station site near Hughenden. It is believed that these remains belong to the same genus.

What continent did the Muttaburrasaurus live on?

These ancient ornithopods inhabited the Australian continent about 125 - 100 million years ago between the Albian and early Cenomanian periods of the Cretaceous Epoch.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more great content, check out these Homalocephale facts and Chungkingosaurus facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Dinosaur With Glasses coloring pages.

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