Fossilised skull of hypsolophodontid

Fossilised skull of hypsolophodontid

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This image is part of the feature Dinosaur Cove

Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Antipodean dinosaur. The fossilised skull of a hypsolophodontid (Leaellynasaura), still partially encased in rock. This was a small dinosaur, about the size of a large chicken, living in the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years BP (before present). The specimen was found at Dinosaur Cove, southern Australia. Examination of the skull indicates that the creature had a large cerebral optic lobe, which suggests that it had some capacity for adapting to darkness. This becomes relevant when considering that it would have lived between 65 and 80 degrees south latitude, and would therefore have had to endure some length of permanent night in winter.

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Keywords: animal, animals, australia, dinosaur, fossil, fossil skull, fossils, hypsolophodont, hypsolophodontid, palaeontology, paleontology, skull

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