Dinosaurs & Fossils
Over 3,000 fossil specimens from the cretaceous period have been found around the Hughenden district. Fossil varieties include many marine reptiles, Muttaburrasaurus, Hughenden Sauropod, Queensland Pterosaur and a large selection of shells, molluscs and fish.
The first discovery of Ichthyosaur in 1865 was on the Flinders River near Hughenden. This specimen of Ichthyosaur vertebra was sent to the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne. Later a more complete specimen was uncovered, including a skull and many more vertebrae. The head of an Ichthyosaur was found at Telemon Station west of Hughenden in 1935. It is one of the most complete Ichthyosaur in the world. Also during 1935 a skull of Kronosaurus was found on the same property.
In 1963, a fragment of a Muttaburrasaurus was collected from a cattle yard on the Thompson River near Muttaburra. A near perfect skull was also discovered on a property west of Hughenden in 1987.
Sometime after the 1960s, a large Sauropod was found on a property north of Hughenden. More recent finds include the jaw fragment of Queensland Pterosaur in 2004, the second find of this species in the Hughenden district. Many hours of preparation revealed a three inch long lower jaw bone with a few teeth. The jaw had been washed up against a piece of fosillised wood in the shallow ocean. Pterosaurs were the pelicans of the Cretaceous inland sea. The animal would have had a wingspan of approximately 2m.
To try your hand at finding your very own fossil, call at the Flinders Discovery Centre for a map and directions.