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110 million years ago

Join us on a time travelling adventure as we visit the vast inland sea that was once home to a wide variety of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and giant marine reptiles. Click on the images below for photos, videos and more information. Suitable for years 3 to 6.

Dinosaurs

Age of reptiles

Dinosaurs lived from about 250 to 65 million years ago, at a time also known as the age of reptiles. This was the Mesozoic era, which included the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Dinosaur fossils are not as common in Australia as some other countries, but there is good evidence it was home to many large and small dinosaurs, which lived in the forest and wetlands.

Did you know?

Dinosaurs lived from about 250 to 65 million years ago, at a time also known as the age of reptiles. This was the Mesozoic era, which included the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Dinosaur fossils are not as common in Australia as some other countries, but there is good evidence it was home to many large and small dinosaurs, which lived in the forest and wetlands.

Inland sea

Gondwana and the Eromanga Sea

The Australian continent has not always been the same shape or even in the same place. It was once part of the much larger Pangaea landmass, then the great southern land of Gondwana. By the time of the dinosaurs, it was attached to Antarctica and home to the giant inland Eromanga Sea.

Dinosaurs are the best known reptiles from this era, though there were also flying reptiles called pterosaurs, and marine reptiles including plesiosaurs, none of which were actually dinosaurs.

Did you know?

Did you know the largest and most fearsome creature in the Eromanga Sea was the Kronosaurus?

It had a powerful jaw full of sharp teeth and a body as long as a bus!

Extinction

Dinosaur fossils

Fossils are the traces and remains of ancient animals preserved in rock. They can be bones or teeth that over millions of years have been replaced with rock, or the footprints of animals made in what was then mud or clay.

People who look for and study the fossils of ancient creatures are called palaeontologists.

Very special circumstances are needed to create fossils, which is why they are so rare. In Australia, dinosaurs are known from only a few fossil sites including Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Winton in Queensland and Broome in Western Australia.

Did you know?

About 65 million years ago, a sudden change in the earth’s atmosphere, probably caused by a meteorite, wiped out the dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and pterosaurs.

Reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes survived, as did some birds and mammals, giving rise to all the animals that exist today, including humans.

Take the quiz

How much do you know about prehistoric Australia? Check out the Kids learning space pages above, then see how many answers you can get right!

Start the prehistoric
Australia online quiz

Do the exercise

Can you select the correct habitat, class and diet for ten different animals? Pay close attention to the information about animals and how they have evolved, in the Kids learning space pages above.

Start the 'What kind of animal am I?'
online exercise

Watch the videos

Journey to prehistoric Australia, when a vast inland sea was home to one of the world's mightiest hunters.

Giants of the Eromanga Sea 1:42

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Library Sales

Dinosaur expert Dr Mikael Siversson discusses the history of Australian dinosaur discoveries.

Australian dinosaurs 2:22

Western Australian Museum

'Come sit in a dinosaur's footstep' on the ABC Education website
ABC Catalyst report about fossilised dinosaur trackways near Broome in Western Australia. Duration: 3:59.

'Minmi, Australia's ankylosaur dinosaur' on the ABC Education website
Paleontologist Dr Ben Kear introduces one of Australia's most famous dinosaurs. Duration: 3:37.

'How big is Australia's largest dinosaur bone? on the ABC Education website
Footage of dinosaur bones on display at the Queensland Museum and a discussion about extracting, preparing and displaying fossilised dinosaur bones. Duration: 4:50.

Additional resources

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