- This event has passed.
Our Mesozoic Menagerie: Australia’s Dinosaurs
21 May 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Ballarat STEM Network invites you to hear from Dr Stephen Poropat, Research Associate at The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History Postdoctoral Researcher, Swinburne University of Technology on “Our Mesozoic Menagerie: Australia’s Dinosaurs”.
Palaeontologist Dr Stephen Poropat has been digging up Australian dinosaur fossils since 2004, and will share his latest exciting findings! Four major sites are currently providing new insights into Australia’s Cretaceous dinosaurs, who lived from 145 to 66 million years ago. From the Broome trackways in Western Australia, the Strzelecki and Otway ranges in Victoria, Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, and the Eromanga Basin in Queensland.
To date, only twenty Australian dinosaurs from the Mesozoic Era have been formally named on the basis of fossilised bones, and almost all of these are from the middle part of the Cretaceous, between 125 and 95 million years ago. This means that we have little idea of what Australia’s Mesozoic dinosaurs were like throughout much of their existence.
Our understanding of dinosaur faunas has improved massively as a result of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers over the past forty years—without their efforts, our knowledge would be very limited indeed and Stephen has had the privilege of attending six such digs since 2004.
It was David Elliott’s 1999 discovery of a dinosaur on his sheep station which reinvigorated excavation efforts in the Eromanga Basin. Annual digs in the Winton area, coordinated by the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History (AAOD, founded by David and his wife Judy), have been held since 2001. Stephen has helped supervise eight such AAOD digs since 2011, and this year’s excavations were some of the most successful to date – come learn more!