Thirty years after anthropologists found the partial remains of a dolphin-like dinosaur in the desert of South Australia, an Aborigine building a fence in the same spot has stumbled on the rest of the animal. Experts yesterday described the chances of coming across the dinosaur's bones in the vast Outback as 'a million to one'. Fragments of the 120 million-year-old ichthyosaur's snout were originally found by a road gang in 1971 and investigated by Neville Pledge, the then curator of fossils at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. Battling searing heat and without proper digging equipment, he took only the shards of bone that were lying on the ground. The location of his find was forgotten until last month when Reg Dodd, an elder of the Arabunna tribe, was digging a fence hole near Bopeechee, an abandoned railway siding on the remote Oodnadatta Track, in northern South Australia. Sensing the discovery was important, he contacted the museum's anthropologists, who travelled to the site and retrieved vertebrae, ribs and bits of skull. The eight-metre-long ichthyosaur lived at a time when much of Australia was covered by the shallow Eromanga Sea. Although resembling a dolphin, it was actually a reptile, and hunted large squid-like creatures called belemnites. The dinosaur's lower jaw shows signs of healed injuries, possibly inflicted by a predator or another ichthyosaur fighting for territory or a mate. 'The remains of the ichthyosaur were lost to science until Reg found it and brought it to our attention,' said Ben McHenry, one of the South Australian Museum's palaeontologists. 'When you see how big the Outback is, to come across it like that was a one-in-a-million chance. It's a fantastic find. We don't have many ichthyosaurs and those we do have tend to be juveniles. This one was an adult.' The exact location is being kept secret because previous sites have been raided by thieves, who use crow bars and electric drills to prize fossils from rock. The ichthyosaur will be painstakingly reconstructed and displayed in the museum's fossil gallery early next year.