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Australia's 'answer to the velociraptor' unveiled

Our dinos are hardest in world, claim Aussies

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Australian media report that three "new dinosaurs" have been discovered at a "prehistoric billabong dating back 95 million years".

Aussie paleontologists have stated uncompromisingly that their down-under dinos would easily win in a fight with soft poofter aeons-dead antediluvian lizards from other, less fortunate nations.

In particular, Queensland Museum bone-botherer Scott Hucknall was keen to emphasise the superior prowess, in a hypothetical Jurassic Park style vatgrown DNA clone dinosaur Five Nations deathmatch ruck, to be expected from the frightful Australovenator Wintonensis. According to the Queensland Courier-Mail, this fearsome creature "has been dubbed Australia's answer to the feared Velociraptor". For reasons which remain unclear, A Wintonensis has been dubbed "Banjo" by the Queensland authorities*.

“The cheetah of his time, Banjo was light and agile,” Hocknull told the Courier-Mail.

“He could run down most prey with ease over open ground. His most distinguishing feature was three large slashing claws on each hand. Unlike some theropods that have small arms (think T Rex), Banjo was different; his arms were a primary weapon.

“He’s Australia's answer to velociraptor, but many times bigger and more terrifying.”

Another "new dinosaur", known as "Clancy", is beautifully described by the Courier-Mail as "a tall animal that may have been Australia’s prehistoric answer to the giraffe". And don't be touting yer hippopotamus either, mate: Australian "Matildas" were bigger, fatter and better in every way, sooner.

Queensland state premier Anna Bligh felt sure that the people of the world will soon beat a path to the prehistoric billabong site so as to worship the new dinosaurs of the land down under, incontrovertibly superior to the effete, limpwristed fossil species - and indeed modern animals or people - found elsewhere.

"The potential for educational tourism through their permanent display at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in Winton, is enormous,” she said. "These discoveries are a major breakthrough in the scientific understanding of life in Australia." ®

Bootnotes

*The Queensland Museum states that "Banjo is named after the famous Australian poet Banjo Patterson [presumably Australia's answer to Shakespeare] who wrote Waltzing Matilda in Winton in 1885". Whether this is meant to hint at a poetic side to A Wintonensis or a somewhat dinosaur-like quality in Patterson's verse is impossible to know.

Thanks as ever to Mike Richards for the point at the Courier-Mail writeup.

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