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World's Biggest Dinosaur Footprints Discovered In Australia’s Jurassic Park

By Chris Yalom, The Goldwater · 03-28-2017
Photo credit: Pictureguy 66 | Dreamstime.com

More than 100 million years ago, in a land that is now Australia, nearly two-dozen species of dinosaur once roamed the area.

What was once a damp, forested environment surrounded by shallow seas became the hot, rugged coastline of north-western Australia after an asteroid struck earth. Continents departed, sea levels rose and fell.

Before, the biggest known dinosaur footprint recorded was a 106 cm track discovered in the Mongolian desert reported last year. But now, the largest known dinosaur footprints was discovered in Western Australia, including 1.7 meter prints left by gigantic herbivores.

These newly-discovered prints left by gigantic herbivores are part of a rich collection of tracks belonging to an estimated 21 different types of dinosaur which are thought to be the most diverse collection of prints in the world.

Palaeontologists discovered a rich collection of dinosaur footprints in the sandstone rock at the site along the Kimberly shoreline in a remote region of Western Australia. These footprints were only visible during low tide.

Scientists now dubbed the site as “Australia’s Jurassic Park".

Vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Queensland Steve Salisbury said they got several tracks up in that area that is about 1.7 metres long. A number of people would be able to fit inside the huge footprint, probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip, which is considered to be enormous.

Salisbury added that Dinosaur tracks were known through that area, probably for thousands of years. They (tracks) form part of the song cycle.

These animals’ serves as an evidence of their existence in the Kimberley 130 million years ago based on these tracks.

The largest tracks discovered belonged to sauropods, a Diplodocus-like herbivores with long necks and tails. Scientists also discovered tracks from about four different types of ornithopod dinosaurs, a two-legged herbivore and six types of armoured dinosaurs, including Stegosaurs.

The challenge for palaeontologists will now be interpreting such a wealth of footprints at the site.

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/mar/28/worlds-largest-dinosaur-footprints-discovered-in-western-australia

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