Australotitan cooperensis is the largest dinosaur ever discovered in Australia. (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Australotitan cooperensis is the largest dinosaur ever discovered in Australia. (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Dr. Scott Hocknull and Robyn Mackenzie hold a 3-D reconstruction of the humerus bone of “Cooper.” (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Dr. Scott Hocknull and Robyn Mackenzie hold a 3-D reconstruction of the humerus bone of “Cooper.” (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Robyn Mackenzie and her family found the dino fossils. They opened the Eromanga Natural History Museum to share them with others! (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Robyn Mackenzie and her family found the dino fossils. They opened the Eromanga Natural History Museum to share them with others! (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

This illustration shows what the dino might have looked like. It is shown next to a human for scale. (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

This illustration shows what the dino might have looked like. It is shown next to a human for scale. (Eromanga Natural History Museum)

Whopper of a Dino

Posted: September 1, 2021

Scientists in Queensland, Australia, found a “pothole to the past,” says Robyn Mackenzie. They’re digging up dry, old bones. Those bones belong to a very old Australian animal—an enormous dinosaur.

Australotitan cooperensis is the official name of the new dinosaur. Its name means “the southern titan.” (A titan is something that is strong and powerful.)

Mrs. Mackenzie describes finding the dinosaur’s skeleton. “There’s nothing quite like walking up to a dinosaur site and seeing all this bone on the surface and not having a clue what type of animal, initially, because you’ve just spotted it, it is,” she says. The Mackenzies (Robyn, her husband Stuart, and son Sandy) discovered the bones on their own property. According to Smithsonian, the Mackenzies were riding motorbikes on their sheep and cattle farm when they noticed what looked like big black rocks in the ground. Those rocks were actually dinosaur bones! It took over 10 years to identify the bones. They were very fragile and heavy. A forklift had to move them.

Mrs. Mackenzie is now a field paleontologist. She says that with a closer look at the dirt, “you can actually pick up bits of bone and start figuring out what animal it is and what part of the body the bones are coming from.” It looks like the Australotitan was as long as a basketball court. It stood as tall as a two-story building. That makes it one of the biggest dinosaurs in the world’s history!

Genesis 1:24 says, “And God said, “Let the Earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the Earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.” What did the mighty Australotitan look like when God made it? What sounds did it make? Did the ground tremble when it walked? Was it gentle or scary and fierce?

Paleontologists believe that Australotitan was a sauropod. That’s a four-legged animal with a long neck and tail. It had a small head but huge limbs. That long neck helped the herbivore snag high-up veggie snacks. (A herbivore does not eat meat.) Imagine how many plants the largest dinosaur in Australia would eat!

“Our study looked at dinosaurs from not just Australia but across the world. We compared Australotitan’s bones to all of these gigantic sauropods and it’s in the top 10 to 15 largest in the world,” explains paleontologist Scott Hocknull.

There’s more to discover about the ancient Australotitan. That makes paleontologists very excited.