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An Elasmosaurid

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MEANINGInformal name
CLASSIFICATIONElasmosauridae, Plesiosauroidea, Plesiosauria
AGEEarly Cretaceous 110 MYA
LOCATIONNorthern Queensland
SIZE5 metres long (3 metre neck)

"Dave" the elasmosaur was discovered in a secret location in northern Queensland in 1999. At least 80% of its skeleton was found preserved, making it the most complete elasmosaur known from Australia, and one of the earliest in the world. Most of the skeleton was present, except for the head, the tips of the paddles, and the end of the tail.

Dave's Bones
Dave's bones. Dark bones are missing

It was discovered by two fisherman (one of them an amateur fossil collector called David, hence the name) in a remote part of outback Queensland (two hours from the nearest town). They contacted Dr Alex Cook at the Queensland Museum. A further expedition was planned for June 2001 to see if any more of the skeleton was preserved (in other words, the other 20%), especially the head. The elasmosaurid is yet to be fully described, so for now it simply has an informal name (like "Eric").

For more information about "Dave", see the Queensland Museum website.

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