Qantassaurus intrepidus
?Rich and ?Rich 1999

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    After QANTAS, an Australian airline
    Hypsilophodontidae, Euornithopoda, Ornithopoda,
    Cerapoda, Ornithischia
    Early Cretaceous (Albian) 115 MYA
    Strzelecki Group
    1.8 metres (6 feet) long, 50 cm (1.7 feet) at hip
    Inverloch, Victoria

Qantassaurus was described in October 1999. It was a hypsilophodontid larger than Leaellynasaura found at the Flat Rocks site in Victoria, in south eastern Australia. It was named after the Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service (the airline QANTAS) in recognition of the role the airline played in helping to ship the Great Russian Dinosaurs exhibition around Australia when it toured the country from 1993 to 1996. Because the name QANTAS is an acronym there is no letter "U" in the names of either the airline or the dinosaur.

Head of Qantassaurus compared to Leaellynasaura (not to scale)

The holotype of Qantassaurus consists of a dentary found at the Flat Rocks site in the Strzelecki group of deposits near Inverloch in Victoria. It is distinguished from other hypsilophodontid species by having only 12 teeth in the lower jaw, whereas most other species had 14 or more. This suggests that Qantassaurus may have had a shorter, deeper face than other hypsilophodontids. Two other similar jaws have also been found, both attributed to Qantassaurus sp. At least one of these specimens is clearly diseased.

This reconstruction is based on a generalised hypsilophodontid body form (I used Hypsilophodon foxii from the Late Jurassic of England as a guide). The head has been made shorter and deeper than usual to reflect the Qantassaurus material.

Qantassaurus type material
The type material of Qantassaurus intrepidus, a dentary (lower jaw bone)

Rich, T.H. & P.Vickers-Rich 1999 The Hypsilophodontidae from Southeastern Australia In Y.Tomada, T.H.Rich and P.Vickers-Rich (Eds) Proceedings of the Second Gondwana Dinosaur Symposium. National Science Museum Monographs, No.15. Tokyo. pp.167-180