Dinosaur claw discovery
EXCITEMENT broke out among geology students from Wonthaggi Secondary College who discovered a 115 million year old dinosaur claw at the Inverloch dinosaur dig site on Thursday.
Year 8 students Cameron Scales, Ayden Machell and their mates dug a large rock out from the sand when Cameron spotted something unusual when they broke it open.
He showed the object to palaeontologist Mike Cleeland, who suspected it was an ornithopod dinosaur claw.
An immediate search took place for the other half of the broken rock, and Ayden soon retrieved it.
The complete claw is about 3cm long and was presented to dig manager Lesley Kool on Saturday.
“It’s most probably an ungual phalange, or claw, from one of the herbivorous ornithopod dinosaurs known from this area, possibly Qantassaurus,” she said.
The specimen has been transferred to Museum Victoria for expert preparation, which involves removal of the encasing rock and extraction of the entire claw to allow positive identification.
Cameron and Ayden will then receive a certificate of discovery, recognising their role in the ongoing research into Victoria’s lower Cretaceous dinosaurs.
The first dinosaur bone ever found in Australia was a similar claw, found nearby at Eagles Nest by geologist William Ferguson on May 7, 1903.
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