World's largest dinosaur footprint discovered in Australia


The world's largest dinosaur footprint has been discovered in an area being dubbed "Australia's own Jurassic Park".

A team of paleontologists identified 21 different types of dinosaur tracks on a 25km stretch of coastline north of Broome, in the remote Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia.

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Sauropod (long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur) prints up to a whopping 1.7 metres were among those found in the region

According to the Telegraph, Dr Steve Salisbury, the lead author of the study and a palaeontologist at the University of Queensland, said: "Nowhere else has as many different types of dinosaurs represented by tracks than Walmadany [James Price Point] has.

"It's such a magical place, Australia's own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting."

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Salisbury said: "Twenty-one different types of dinosaurs all living together at the same time in the same area. We have never seen this level of diversity before, anywhere in the world. It's the Cretaceous equivalent of the Serengeti. And it's written in stone."

And the BBC reports that he added: "This is the most diverse dinosaur track fauna we've ever recorded.

"In this time slice (127 and 140 million years ago) in Australia, we've got no other record - there's virtually no other fossils from any part of the continent. This is the only window, and what we see is truly amazing.

"Twenty-one different types. There are about six different types of tracks for meat-eating dinosaurs; about the same number for sauropod dinosaurs; about four different types of ornithopod dinosaur tracks - so, two-legged plant-eaters - and really exciting, I think, are six types of armoured dinosaur tracks, including stegosaurs, which we've never seen before in Australia."

Dr Salisbury explained that a footprint measuring 1.7 metres would likely have belonged to an animal that was "probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip, which is enormous."

He shared some of his findings on Twitter.






The research was carried out by palaeontologists from The University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences and James Cook University's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and has been published as the 2016 Memoir of the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology.


10 PHOTOS
Ten incredible trips to take in Australia
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Ten incredible trips to take in Australia
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While central and northern Australia’s remote wilderness often comes to mind for those looking for nature, Tasmania provides bountiful opportunities for expeditions into the wild. The untouched beauty of Tasmania’s many national parks and stunning wonders can be admired at Wineglass Bay and the ancient forests of Cradle Mountain National Park, Russell Falls, Tasman’s Arch and Devil’s Kitchen. Trafalgar's Perfect Tasmania holiday is punctuated with opportunities to witness the purple-hued fields of Bridestowe Lavender Estate and sample the 'finest malt whiskey in the world' at Hellyer’s Distillery. The 12-day trip costs from £2,731 per person (excluding flights).

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The world’s most ancient living culture, Australia’s Aboriginal people, has a history spanning at least 50,000 years. Theirs is the oldest story on Earth and by sharing their stories with visitors, they can keep their culture alive. Western Australia offers travellers coastal, urban and outback environments, with a choice of authentic cultural experiences, such as going on guided bushwalks, learning about fascinating legends, visiting cattle stations and playing the didgeridoo in music sessions. Cape Cultural Tours offers guided trips around the tip of Cape Naturaliste, where you can hear local stories and go on a guided bushwalk from AUD$72 (£44). Meanwhile, an APT West Coast Adventure with Austravel takes you from Perth to Darwin over 18 days, combining Kimberley, Aboriginal culture and fascinating wildlife, from £5,295 per person (excluding flights).

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