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KAKURU

a meat-eating coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Australia.
Pronunciation: ka-KOO-roo
Meaning: Ancestral serpent
Author/s: Molnar and Pledge (1980)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Andamooka, South Australia
Chart Position: 227

Kakuru kujani

Discovered in the opal fields of Andamooka—and via a rare process of hydration themselves opalised—the remains of Kakuru took pride of place in the gem shop of A. Fleming. They were spotted in a window display by Neville Pledge who took casts and photos in 1973, then they were auctioned-off to a private collector the following year and disappeared, thought lost to science.

By an enormous stroke of luck they were procured some thirty years later by the South Australian Museum for the princely sum of $22 grand which we can't help thinking was a little steep, bearing in mind its remains ammount to a single, long and slender shinbone which had been smashed into ten pieces then stuck back together again.

Granted it's opal, which makes it distinct compared to most other theropods. But take the opal out of the equation and it's hard to tell if the fossil belongs to a coelurosaur, a maniraptoran, an oviraptorosaur, an averostran or even an abelisauroid. An opalised toe bone from the same area (which may or may not pertain to the same critter) has done nothing to help with classification.
(Kujani's Rainbow Serpant)Etymology
Kakuru is named after the Ancestral Rainbow Serpent from Australian Aboriginal mythology. The species epithet (Kujani) honors the local Kujani tribe.
Discovery
The only confirmed remains of Kakuru were discovered at the Marree Formation in the opal fields of Andamooka, South Australia.
The holotype (SAM P17926) is a fragmentary left tibia (shin bone).
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian
Age range: 125-112 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 2 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 8 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Coelurosauria
Kakuru
kujani
References
• R. E. Molnar and N. S. Pledge (1980) "A new theropod dinosaur from South Australia".
• Federico L. Agnolin, Martín D. Ezcurra, Diego F. Pais and Steven W. Salisbury (2010) "A reappraisal of the Cretaceous non-avian dinosaur faunas from Australia and New Zealand: evidence for their Gondwanan affinities".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "KAKURU :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 11th Dec 2017.
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