MAR 27, 2017 6:25 AM PDT

Scientists Reveal 'Jurassic Park'-Like Past of Western Australia

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Dinosaur experts are getting excited over some major footprint discoveries located on Australia’s Western beaches in recent years. Details of the findings are published in The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

At least 450 km of these beaches conceal sandstone rock that often reveals itself during low tide points. There are said to be large dinosaur footprint impressions in the surfaces of these rocks that came from a number of different species; both carnivores and herbivores.

The sandstone that gets revealed during certain low tide points on these Western-Australian beaches reveal large footprints from dinosaurs.

Image Credit: Damian Kelly/University of Queensland/AFP

There are as many as 21 different kinds of footprint impressions out of 150 in total that range in size and shape. Some are as large as 1.7 meters, which puts into perspective just how large these beasts actually were back in the day. According to scientists, there is evidence that the footprints were formed in the early Cretaceous era.

“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 armored dinosaurs,” said Dr. Salisbury.

Perhaps even more important is the sheer number of different dinosaur tracks that were discovered in the region, which is said to be the first record of these kinds of creatures walking the Western parts of Australia.

“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half the continent and providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period,” Dr Salisbury continued. “It’s such a magical place—Australia’s own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting.”

Interestingly, some of the prints can be attributed to stegosaurs, which were large four-legged dinosaurs with defensive plates on their backs and were primarily herbivores. This is reportedly the first evidence that these creatures even existed on the Australian continent.

Teams have been studying the footprints from the years of 2011 to 2016, attempting to learn more about their size, the fine-grained details, and just what made them. The researchers were reportedly called in by local custodians who wanted to make the world aware of these incredible markings before the construction of a pipeline threatened to destroy them.

You might also like: Lasers reveal the bird-like qualities of many dinosaurs

With new evidence for dinosaur presence on the Western side of the Australian continent, researchers are once again re-writing history books. Interestingly, dinosaur history books are already in peril, as no one can seem to agree about where dinosaurs originated – new reports suggest they originated in the UK, rather than in the Southern hemisphere as originally thought.

Source: The University of Queensland, Australia

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 02, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 02, 2019
Do Tortoises Enjoy Being Touched by People?
Tortoises are one of nature’s most conspicuous animals – large reptiles that carry massive shells that protect their sluggish bodies from damag...
DEC 06, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 06, 2019
Invasive Mussels are Taking Over Australia's Coastlines
Any type of organism that is not native to a location but ends up there anyway is considered an invasive species....
JAN 09, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 09, 2020
Australian Bushfire Update
Devastating wildfires continue to ravage the continent of Australia. The report from BBC News below, which aired earlier this week, gives an encompassing u...
FEB 09, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
FEB 09, 2020
Mosquitoes are Driven to Search for Heat in the Hunt for Meals
Mosquitoes can be dangerous disease vectors, and they infect and kill hundreds of thousands of people with illnesses like dengue, malaria, and West Nile Virus....
FEB 12, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 12, 2020
Urban Heat-Islands Mistakenly Signal Spring to Trees
Have you noticed trees and other vegetation in your city turning green earlier than usual? A new study from Iowa State University has shown that urban land...
FEB 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 16, 2020
These Jellyfish Deliver Stings Without Touching You
Most people are accustomed to thinking that if you avoid a jellyfish’s tentacles while swimming in the ocean, then you won’t be stung. For the...
Loading Comments...