July 6, 2009--
Meet Matilda, or Diamantinasaurus matildae
(above, in an artist's depiction), one of two giant, plant-eating dinosaur species recently discovered in Australia
The fossilized creature, which measures almost 60 feet (18 meters) long, was unearthed in the northeastern outback town of Winton, Queensland, in 2006. A third new species, a carnivorous dinosaur dubbed Banjo, was also found at the site. (Watch a video about Banjo's discovery.
The dinosaurs were named after famed Australian poet Banjo Paterson and characters from his works.
(Related: "New Dinosaur May Link S. American, Aussie Dinos."
The 98-million-year-old Matilda is the first new sauropod to be described in Australia in 75 years, said team member Scott Hocknull
, a paleontologist and senior curator of geosciences at Queensland Museum in Brisbane.
The fossils, described recently in the journal PLoS One
, were unveiled at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in Winton on July 3, 2009.
--Carolyn Barry in Sydney, Australia
Images courtesy Travis R. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs