Banjo, Clancy and Matilda

Fossils of three new dinosaur species have been found in the Winto area of western Queensland, Australia. The three species have been named after characters in ballads of a famous 19th Century Australian poet – ‘Banjo’ Patterson. Patterson wrote the poem, “Waltzing Matilda”, which was put to song and has become synonymous with Australia, a sort of unofficial national anthem. The poem itself refers to an unemployed man in the 1890s depression who stole a sheep and, to avoid arrest, drowned himself in a small lake. The poem is littered with colloquial expressions for everything, so is probable quite incomprehensible to most, without a glossary of terms. Waltzing Matilida is also associated with the shearer’s strike of the day, that lead to the establishment of the Labour Party in Australia.

Western Queensland’s previous most famous dinosaur find is the ‘Muttaburrasaurus”, named after the town of Muttaburra in sheep country.  When I worked in the Central West there was a saying asked as a question, ” ‘ been to Muttaburra, skun a ‘roo?” which, if the reply was, “no”, received the added response, “well, you ain’t been nowhere, done nothin'”.


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