Every time we think we are knowledgeable about all things dinosaur related, scientist discover new evidence and fossils. This happens all the time. This proves to humanity that there is always a lot more yet to be discovered about our world. Imagine our surprise then when, according to a report in The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (via National Geographic), paleontologists in Australia a New Species of Dinosaur was identified as being a previously unknown plant-eating dino, which lived during the midpoint of the Cretaceous period.
The First Photo in the slide shown above is the toe bone fossil which belonged to a member of Fostoria dhimbangunmal. The fossils were all found in a former opal mine and show glimmers of the brilliantly colored gemstone.
The second photo is a fossil that is part of a vertebra from the back of a Fostoria dinosaur. Similar fossils made of opal are often used to make jewelry.
The fossils of the four specimens were found in a small town in the Australian Outback called Lightning Ridge. Paleontologists found these fossils decades ago in 1984. So why are we talking about them now? Well, that is because what we previously mentioned, It is only now that researchers realized they are a new species of dinosaur. The story goes that an opal miner named Robert Foster found these fossils in his mines. Foster donated first to the Australian Museum in Sydney.
Recently the Foster family donated them to the Australian Opal Centre. It was there that researchers suspected there was more to the history of these fossils than previously assumed. One of these fossils eventually was recognized as duck-billed hadrosaurs. The new species of dinosaur then is named after the man who first discovered it and this the fossils where named Fostoria. This species is now known to be the earliest of iguanodontian dinosaurs to have lived in Australia. The region is in New South Wales is the very definition of the Australian outback, but it did not always look the way it does now. During the Cretaceous period, there were several rivers and many hectares of vegetation.
Featured photo is an Illustration by James Kuether