• Researchers discover ‘Australia's Jurassic Park'

    By: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Researchers have discovered evidence of the most diverse collection of dinosaurs, including some of the largest dinosaur footprints ever recorded, in an area dubbed “Australia’s Jurassic Park.”

    Paleontologists from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences and James Cook University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences spent more than 400 hours investigating 140-million year old rock formations in a 15.5 mile area of the Dampier Peninsula to learn that at least 21 different types of dinosaurs once roamed the land.

    "This is the most diverse dinosaur track fauna ever recorded," lead researcher Dr. Steve Salisbury told CNN. "If we went back in time 130 million years ago, we would've seen all these different dinosaurs walking over this coastline. It must've been quite a sight."

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    Researchers found what is considered the biggest dinosaur footprint in the world. It is from a sauropod and measures 5 feet 9 inches, according to CNN.

    They traced thousands of tracks around Walmadany during the study. Researchers found five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armored dinosaurs, including tracks from the first known stegosaurus on 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,” Salisbury said in a news release. “It’s such a magical place—Australia’s own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting.”

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