Muttaburrasaurus: The dinosaur people dig
Muttaburrasaurus langdoni has been voted as Queensland’s state fossil emblem. The plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra, the hometown of Jocelyn’s father, William C. Scott. Read on to find out why “Mutt” has been declared Queensland’s official state fossil, and what you can see in Muttaburra.
Muttaburrasaurus was voted the most popular fossil emblem
The Muttaburrasaurus langdoni will now become part of Queensland’s official identity after it topped a popular public poll to select the State’s fossil emblem.
The 12 shortlisted fossils featured dinosaurs from both land and sea, early mammals, and flora, all discovered across Queensland.
Of the nearly 9000 votes cast by Queenslanders, the ornithopod emerged as the clear popular choice.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Muttaburrasaurus will join the nine other unique Queensland emblems.
“The 100-million-year-old, plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra,” the Premier said.
‘The seven-metre-long dinosaur makes a very big statement indeed.
“I’m sure it will be an enduring emblem Queensland can be very proud of.
“Along with our official coat of arms, flag and badge our emblems highlight the many wonders and beauty of our state.
“The Cooktown Orchid, koala, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, brolga, the sapphire, and our official colour – the mighty maroon, are all iconic symbols.”
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Travel back in time with Muttaburrasaurus
The Premier said the popularity of Muttaburrasaurus as the State’s official fossil emblem highlights the importance of dinosaur tourism in Outback Queensland.
“I encourage Queenslanders to get acquainted with our new fossil emblem by planning a visit to Outback dinosaur destinations,” the Premier said.
Queensland’s rich palaeontology discoveries have generated worldwide interest among experts and have attracted thousands of tourists to the Outback to see the fossils found firsthand.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said thousands of visitors travel to Outback Queensland every year to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and discover our rich palaeontological history.
“Everybody loves dinosaurs, they generate millions of dollars for the visitor economy, and we want to see Outback Queensland continue to grow as Australia’s paleo capital.”
Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre, Central Queensland, Australia.
The replica of the Muttaburrasaurus langdoni can be found at an interpretive centre at Muttaburra in Central Queensland. The displays include replicas, models and histories for guests to learn more about how this ancient creature was discovered as well as what life was like back then when they roamed our world 100 million years ago. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts, July 2022.
Mutt, one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in Australia
Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said while there was an outstanding lineup of nominees for the State’s Fossil Emblem, he couldn’t think of a more worthy winner.
“Muttaburrasaurus has been synonymous with Queensland Museum since it was described by our palaeontologists in 1981, and thanks to the iconic replica skeleton that stands proud within the museum, Queenslanders have come to know and love this home-grown dinosaur over the decades,” Dr Thompson said.
“Mutt, as people affectionately call it, is one of the most complete skeletons of an Australian Dinosaur and is a great ambassador for palaeontology and dinosaur history.”
Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus is a national icon and global treasure
Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull said Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus was a national icon and global treasure.
“I started volunteering at the Queensland Museum as a kid 30 years ago and Muttaburrasaurus was the first dinosaur fossil I got to work on,” Dr Hocknull said.
“It inspired me then, as it will do for countless budding palaeontologists in the future.
“I used to dig dinosaurs as a kid, but now I do it for real and I can thank Muttaburrasaurus for this.”
The next step in making Muttaburrasaurus the state’s fossil emblem includes amending the Emblems of Queensland Act 2005 to confirm ‘Mutt’s’ official status.
To learn more about Queensland’s emblems, flags and icons visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/about/
Where is Muttaburra?
What else is there to see in Muttaburra?
While on an Outback trek in July 2022, I visited Muttaburra, the geographical centre of Queensland, to see the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre and the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum where my father was the first baby born after Dr Arratta’s arrival in 1925.
Muttaburra has the distinction of being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland. A monument, erected in recognition of this significance is located on Nev Bullen Drive near the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum. PHOTO: Selfie!
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