Learn about a new prehistoric animal every week with us. It will be a blast!
STL Science Center
13 December 2013
Next Oldest Post
Continuing in the revamped original 8 posts this week is Leaellynasaura. Another Australian dinosaur from south of the Antarctic Circle (look back to Atlascopcosaurus), Leaellynasaura amicagraphica was named after the daughter of Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich (Leaellyn Rich); our intrepid Australian dinosaur discoverers of countless specimens. The specific epithet references the Friends of the Museum of Victoria and National Geographic, which have helped finance Australian paleontology for years. Two nearly complete skeletons and two fragmentary skulls as well as multiple other fragmented skeletons have been recovered. The tails and orbits of Leaellynasaura are defining characteristics of the small ornithopods and represent highly adaptive evolutionary characters of the skeleton suited for the polar ecosystem in which they lived. Small forest dwelling polar ornithopods are the topic of the week here, be prepared!