The Lark Quarry located near the town of Winton in Queensland (Australia) is the website of certainly one of the most crucial assortment 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 different trackways were interpreted as herd of smaller Ornithopod dinosaurs in the business of some Coelurosaurs stampeding after they certainly were cornered by way of 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 little, Ornithopods, Skartopus to the more expensive Coelurosaurs and the eleven prints believed to describe the large, predatory Theropod attempting the ambush were assigned to Tyrannosauropus. However, a new 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 why these footprints aren’t proof of a dinosaur ambush with a resulting stampede however the tracks produced by dinosaurs while they forded a river. In place of “Walking with Dinosaurs”, this new research suggests a scenario of “Swimming or even Wading with Dinosaurs”!
Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways
The footprints are believed up to now from around 95 million years back 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 in actuality the water could have been no more than 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 lots of the footprints and impressions produced by the dinosaurs were simply scratches or elongated grooves preserved in the rock. These could possibly be interpretated as marks produced by the dinosaurs while they punted or waded along the river bed. what dinosaur has 500 teeth A few of the more unusual tracks could represent “tippy-toe” traces, where an animal made deep, nearly vertical impressions to the soft river bed having its clawed toes while they propelled themselves through the human body of water.
In the paper, the scientist argues that it’s difficult to see the way the tracks may have been produced by an animal walking or running on land, even one panicked by an ambush from the predator. If the tracks have been made on land the impressions made would have been much flatter.
Not the First Exemplory case of a Swimming Dinosaur Found to Date
Fossilised footprints of a swimming dinosaur have been present in the past. There’s a very important single dinosaur trackway discovered in Spain that seems to show a tri-dactyl, Theropod dinosaur touching the underside of a river occasionally as 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 certainly one of the most crucial sets of dinosaur footprints proven to science. More than 3,000 individual prints have been identified so far. A number of the tracks, like 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 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 big, 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 weren’t produced by a predator, Anthony stated that taken altogether, the study suggested that the Lark Quarry sediments didn’t portray a dinosaur stampede.
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