Unique 'toothless' dinosaur elaphrosaur discovered in Australia

Paleontologists in Australia have discovered a unique “toothless” dinosaur named elaphrosaur. The dinosaur lived in Australia 110 million years ago, according to a statement released by the Swinburne University of Technology.

Unique 'toothless' dinosaur elaphrosaur discovered in Australia
Pic courtesy: Swinburne University of Technology

Paleontologists in Australia have discovered a unique “toothless” dinosaur named elaphrosaur. The dinosaur lived in Australia 110 million years ago, according to a statement released by the Swinburne University of Technology.

Volunteer Jessica Parker had discovered a bone from the dinosaur in Victoria in 2015. Initially, the paleontologists thought the bone from a pterosaur but the experts at Swinburne University studied the neck bone in detail and found out that it belonged to a theropod or meat-eating dinosaur. “The only catch – this ‘meat-eating dinosaur’ probably didn’t eat meat!” said Swinburne paleontologist Dr. Stephen Poropat, in the statement.

According to Poropat, the bone matches a group of theropods called elaphrosaurs or ‘light-footed lizards.'

“Elaphrosaurs had long necks, stumpy arms with small hands, and relatively lightly built bodies. As dinosaurs go, they were rather bizarre. The few known skulls of elaphrosaurs show that the youngsters had teeth, but that the adults lost their teeth and replaced them with a horny beak. We don’t know if this is true for the Victorian elaphrosaur yet — but we might find out if we ever discover a skull,” Porapat was quoted as saying by Fox News.

A paper on the research is published in the journal Gondwana Research.

In 2019, researchers had succeeded in discovering the fossilized remains of several dinosaurs in an opal mine in the Australian outback. In 2017, a dinosaur footprint was destroyed by some vandals in rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia.