Australia: Stomping Ground for Giants

Australia: Stomping Ground for Giants

Scientists have found what could be the world’s largest dinosaur footprint — measuring nearly 1.7 meters — on a remote part of Australia’s northwestern coastline.

The footprint from a giant sauropod dinosaur was among 21 types of tracks found on the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia, 130 kilometers from the beach resort town of Broome. “They are bigger than anything that has been recorded anywhere in the world,” said Steve Salisbury, lead author of a joint study by the University of Queensland and James Cook University.

Sauropods were four-legged plant eaters with long necks and tails, pillar-like legs and immense bodies. Sauropod footprints measuring 1.2 meters were found in Germany in 2015.

The rocks containing the tracks at Dampier date back 127 million to 144 million years, older than previous dinosaur fossil discoveries in Australia, Salisbury said. “Most of our dinosaur fossils come from the east coast, or east Australia, and they are between 115 million and 90 million years old,” Salisbury said.

The scientists also found tracks from six types of meat-eating dinosaurs and the first evidence of armored stegosaurs.  Reuters