Researchers taking part in an “unprecedented” discovery of dinosaur tracks uncovered the world’s largest footprint left by a dinosaur.
The team involved paleontologists from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences as well as James Cook University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The group examined 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks and found the “most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world,” the University of Queensland stated.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Steve Salisbury called the area the, “cretaceous equivalent of the Serengeti” with thousands of dinosaur tracks, including 21 specific types and four groups of dinosaurs. The tracks included predatory dinosaur tracks, two-legged ornithopods, armored dinosaurs and the sauropods, long-necked herbivores.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the footprints were left by the largest member of the sauropods.
“We’ve got several tracks up in that area that are about 1.7 meters long,” Salisbury told ABC. “So most people would be able to fit inside tracks that big, and they indicate animals that are probably around 5.3 to 5.5 meters at the hip, which is enormous.”
Previously, reported CNN, the largest dinosaur footprint was found in Bolivia at 3 feet 9 inches.
Most of the continent’s dinosaur fossils are found in the east and are about 90 to 115 million years old. The ones found in the west are “considerably older,” noted Salisbury. The area where the footprints were found, noted the university, had planned to be used as a site for liquid natural gas processing. The project later folded.
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