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A team of paleontologists has uncovered an incredible haul comprised twenty-one different types of dinosaur tracks within a 15.5 miles region of the Dampier Peninsula coastline in Australia.
One of the footprints discovered by the palaeontological team is believed to be the biggest ever discovered at an astonishing 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 meters) in length. But according to the team, this enormous footprint is not the most amazing thing about this incredible discovery in the area referred to as Australia’s Jurassic Park.
The team’s report, which was published online in the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology, explains that the enormous dinosaur footprint was probably made by an ancient sauropod dinosaur. Sauropods were a fairly common form of a dinosaur during the Cretaceous period. They were long-necked, huge plant-eating dinosaurs that roamed every single continent on Earth and many footprints have been uncovered in the past in various locations around the globe. However, according to paper’s lead author, Steve Salisbury, this is certainly the largest specimen that paleontologists have ever uncovered.
However, Salisbury says that there is something even more remarkable about this incredible haul. He said that he and his team were amazed to see the sheer diversity of the dinosaur footprints in the region. By the best attempts at analysis, the team believe that in addition to the enormous sauropod footprint, they have also found the tracks of no less than five different types of predatory, carnivorous dinosaurs, six types of tracks from armoured dinosaurs and perhaps even the first clear evidence that stegosaurs were present in Australia in the Cretaceous period.
“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, ” said Salisbury, “It’s the Cretaceous equivalent of the Serengeti! And it’s written in stone.”
Image: Image Courtesy of Steven Salisbury