According to a team of researchers, they may have just discovered the biggest dinosaur footprint yet. This was detected on the Australian coast, in an area which has come to be known as “Australia’s Jurassic Park”. The dinosaurs that left it might have roamed the area some 100 million years ago.
Research on the matter was carried out by University of Queensland and James Cook University scientists. They released their results late last week, on March 24th. These were published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The paper is titled “The Dinosaurian Ichnofauna of the Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian-Barremian) Broome Sandstone of the Walmadany Area (James Price Point), Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia”.
Biggest Dinosaur Footprint Ever, And Not Just One
According to the research team, they discovered more than just one such dinosaur footprint. Instead, they found 21 tracks. These stretched across 15 miles in the Dampier Peninsula, situated in western Australia. For their study, the scientists spent over 400 hours documenting the tracks. Their research spanned over 5 years.
The team stated that they found the “most diverse dinosaur community ever discovered”. This theory is based on the traces they discovered and their analysis.
“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half of the continent […].” Also, this area is“[…] providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period.”
This is all according to Steve Salisbury. He is the study’s lead researcher and a vertebrate paleontologist part of the University of Queensland. He also considers this area Australia’s own Jurassic and also a ‘spectacular wilderness setting’.
The Biggest Dinosaur Footprint And Its Source
Among the 21 dinosaur tracks, 5 came from predatory dinosaurs. Another 6 came from armored specimens, which marks the first discovery of a stegosaurus in Australia. Also, one the most important discoveries is the as yet biggest dinosaur footprint ever found. This measure 5.5 feet, or 1.7 meters.
According to the researchers, the track is also in between 90 million to 115 million years old. Which means that the dinosaur to have left it lived about 100 million years ago. The giant footprint could also mean the following. This dinosaur species could have been up to 5.3 to 5.5 meters wide in the hip. It was also part of the sauropods family. Other famous members of the class include the brontosaurus.
Now, the research team will continue studying the area. They have discovered quite a treasure trove as the region alone contains 21 tracks coming from different dinosaurs. This will be a challenging task for the paleontologists as they set out to study all the tracks.
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