The Lark Quarry located near the city of Winton in Queensland (Australia) is the site of among the main number of dinosaur tracks discovered to date. When these tracks were first studied by Dr. Tony Thulborn and his colleague Mary Wade and their work published in 1984, the footprints caused a sensation as the many trackways were interpreted as herd of smaller Ornithopod dinosaurs in the business of some Coelurosaurs stampeding after they were cornered with a lumbering giant Theropod dinosaur.
Important Trace Fossil Site in Australia
Ichnologists (scientists who study trace fossils, especially footprints), assigned the name Wintonopus to the small, Ornithopods, Skartopus to the more expensive Coelurosaurs and the eleven prints believed to spell it out the large, predatory Theropod attempting the ambush were assigned to Tyrannosauropus. However, a fresh paper published in the academic publication “The Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology” interprets the tracks in an exceedingly different way. Lead author, Queensland palaeontologist Anthony Romilio presents evidence to suggest that these footprints are not evidence of a dinosaur ambush with a resulting stampede however the tracks produced by dinosaurs as they forded a river. Instead of “Walking with Dinosaurs”, this new research suggests a scenario of “Swimming or even Wading with Dinosaurs”!
Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways
The footprints are believed currently from around 95 million years ago approximately (Albian to Cenomanian faunal stages), the strata that the footprints were discovered in does represent fluvial deposits (river sediments), however, this new interpretation proposes that the tracks were produced by dinosaurs whilst in the water and not on the river bank. Walking along a river bed, especially one where the water could have been a maximum of forty centimetres deep might have made sense if the banks were heavily vegetated, progress through dense scrub and forests would have been much slower if the dinosaurs had chosen a land route.
The Queensland palaeontologist stated that most of the footprints and impressions produced by the dinosaurs were simply scratches or elongated grooves preserved in the rock. These could be interpretated as marks produced by the dinosaurs as they punted or waded along the river bed. what dinosaur has 500 teeth Some of the more unusual tracks could represent “tippy-toe” traces, where a dog made deep, nearly vertical impressions to the soft river bed having its clawed toes as they propelled themselves through your body of water.
In the paper, the scientist argues it is difficult to see how the tracks may have been produced by a dog walking or running on land, even one panicked by an ambush from the predator. If the tracks had been made on land the impressions made would have been much flatter.
Not the First Example of a Swimming Dinosaur Found to Date
Fossilised footprints of a swimming dinosaur have now been present in the past. There’s a critical single dinosaur trackway discovered in Spain that seems to exhibit a tri-dactyl, Theropod dinosaur touching the underside of a river occasionally because it swam across it. The sediments preserve the claw marks and impressions produced by the dinosaur at it touched the lake bed and pushed itself off again to carry on its journey.
Very Important Scientific Site in Queensland
The Lark Quarry site represents among the main sets of dinosaur footprints known to science. A lot more than 3,000 individual prints have now been identified so far. Numerous the tracks, including the “dinosaur stampede/river crossing site” are on public display.
Modern Technology Used to Assess Ancient Trackways
Using three-dimensional footprint mapping techniques, the University of Queensland scientist has recently provided several new insights to the dinosaur tracks of Lark Quarry. In 2010, Anthony Romilio published a scientific paper that suggested that the footprints assigned to the meat-eater Tyrannosauropus were actually produced by a large, herbivorous Ornithopod, a dinosaur similar to Muttaburrasaurus for example.
Commenting on the newly published research and reflecting on the sooner work suggesting that the large dinosaur tracks were not produced by a predator, Anthony stated that taken completely, the study suggested that the Lark Quarry sediments did not portray a dinosaur stampede.
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