When a group of miners found an opal (mineral) in a desert area of Australia, they never imagined that their discovery would be a fossil fragment of an unknown dinosaur that, according to palaeontology experts, could inhabit the planet. 100 million years, according to the Science Alert website.
The bony remainder they discovered was the lower jaw of a prehistoric animal, who still had intact teeth and was found in an opal field located at Wee Warra, near Lightning Ridge, in New South Wales, Australia.
From the dimensions of this fossil, specialists began to reconstruct their appearance and stressed that it could belong to the group of so-called ornithopods, a species of thin and biped herbivores.
A group of scientists from the University of New England, Australia, named this new species as Weewarrasaurus and determined that it was a type of dinosaur that inhabited the desert area of that country during the Cretaceous period, when the area still had an abundant vegetation.
The authors of this survey indicated that about 100 million years ago in the vicinity of Wee Warra there was a drying sea, which caused an increase in the level of acidity of the sand, causing the escape of small rocks , one of the components of the sand.
This process led to different spaces and spaces, including those in which the bone remains were found, which eventually decreased the level of acidity over the years, while the silica sediments hardened to form opals. They produced natural molds that carefully preserved the shape of dinosaur fossils.
Thanks to this investigation, paleontologists will be able to understand and analyze the prehistoric fauna of the place which, according to the recent study, was rich in small species of ornithopods that populated the vast vegetation of the Cretaceous.