Scientists have discovered an unprecedented diversity of dinosaur tracks along a stretch of Australia’s Dampier Peninsula coastline. Researchers dubbed the fossil-rich acreage “Australia’s Jurassic Park.”
Along the 15-mile stretch of coast called Walmadany, paleontologists identified 150 tracks belonging to 21 different dinosaur types.
Lead researcher Steve Salisbury called the coastline the “Cretaceous equivalent of the Serengeti.” The scientists described the area’s significance in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half [of] the continent and providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period,” Salisbury, a professor at the University of Queensland, said in a news release. “It’s such a magical place — Australia’s own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting.”
The dinosaur tracks were found in rocks dated between 127 and 140 million years old. Most of the dinosaur fossils found in the eastern half of Australia are between 90 and 115 million years old.
“There were five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from long-necked herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armoured dinosaurs,” Salisbury explained. “Among the tracks is the only confirmed evidence for stegosaurs in Australia. There are also some of the largest dinosaur tracks ever recorded.”
Salisbury and his team were invited by the Goolarabooloo people, an aboriginal group with claims to the land. For the Goolarabooloo, the coastline has spiritual significance.
In 2008, the government of Western Australian earmarked the Walmadany land as the site of a liquid natural gas processing plant. On account of the rich paleontological resources and spiritual significance to local aborigines, the land was granted National Heritage status in 2011. The gas plant plans fell apart in 2013.
Landslides in western India kill five, while floods trap more
Sydney COVID-19 outbreak a ‘national emergency’ as cases spike
FBI says it got more than 4,500 tips on Kavanaugh, providing ‘relevant’ ones to Trump White House
Pelosi says ‘deadly serious’ Jan. 6 probe to go without GOP
Protests in Iran’s Khuzestan continue, spread to neighboring Lorestan
Entertainment7 days ago
Biz Markie, ‘Clown Prince of Hip-Hop’ known for ‘Just a Friend,’ dies at 57
Australia & NZ6 days ago
TikTok comedian who correctly guesses Covid numbers claims the NSW Health Department has told him to stop because he’s ‘compromising’ the system
North America7 days ago
Toronto Blue Jays announce return to Rogers Centre
Australia & NZ6 days ago
Sydney imposes more COVID-19 restrictions after lockdown fails to curb cases
North America6 days ago
Blue Jays set to host 15,000 fans in return to Toronto: Shapiro
Other6 days ago
Climate Change to Bring More Intense Storms Across Europe
food5 days ago
The best pizza city in the USA revealed
Health5 days ago
UAE reports 97 pct recovery in COVID-19 Sotrovimab clinical trial