Australia's Jurassic Park Has World's Largest Dinosaur Footprints

Posted: Mar 27 2017, 9:08am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 27 2017, 9:36am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Australia's Jurassic Park Has World's Most Diverse Dinosaur Footprints
Dinosaur tracks in the Walmadany area are shown. Palaeontologists say dinosaur tracks found in ancient rocks in Westerm Australia are the most diverse such discovery in the world. CREDIT: Damian Kelly
  • Researchers find 21 different types of globally unparalleled dinosaur tracks in Australia's own Jurassic Park

Researchers have found signs of ancient dinosaur fossils from the Cretaceous Period in Australia. Actually Australia's Jurassic Park is world's most diverse site of dinosaur tracks.

Over 21 dinosaur tracks have been sighted on Australia’s coastline. This makes the region a sort of Jurassic Park of the Land Down Under. This represents a discovery that is very diverse to begin with.

The rocks in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia are 140 million years old and bear the footprints of these ancient beasts. One of the researchers involved in the endeavor has dubbed these tracks as an unprecedented and unparalleled finding on a worldwide level.

Such a profound discovery shows that non-avian dinosaurs inhabited the western region of the continent. This record is the only one among Australia’s dinosaur fauna that has such a huge significance.

The site is magical in nature since it almost seems to be Australia’s very own Jurassic Park. The footprints of stegosaurs have been spotted. These were lumbering but gentle giants.

This discovery would have been lost to vested interests had the government gone ahead and selected the site for liquid natural gas processing.

The indigenous Aborigines named the Goolarabooloo people contacted the paleontologists to begin surveys searching for dinosaur footprints in the region.

After 400 hours of research work, the footprints were found. The very heart and soul of both Aboriginal beliefs and paleontology were at stake here. The Australian Aborigines have a complex belief system known as Dreamtime.

This law interconnects the land, spiritual beliefs, folkways and mores, social community and caring and sharing among the Aborigines. The songlines handed down over the eons among these people showed that it was sacrosanct territory that ought not have any industrial activities engaged in over it.

Thanks to efforts by both the Aborigines and the researchers, the liquid natural gas processing plans were foiled.

There are virtually thousands of tracks of dinosaurs in the region. Over 150 of these belong to the 21 types of dinosaurs. These are divided into four major groups.

Furthermore, five of these were carnivorous, six had lengthy necks and were herbivores, four were two-legged herbivores and six belonged to armored dinosaurs.

The majority of Australia’s dinosaur fossils have come from the eastern coast. Yet here we have proof that the western region too contains a virtual bonanza of dinosaur fossils. In fact, what the western coast possesses in the way of fossil riches is way more than what the eastern region holds in store.

The research has been published as the 2016 Memoir of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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