News

Dinosaur markings may indicate a river crossing: study

A 3D profile of the Lark Quarry dinosaur tracks.
A 3D profile of the Lark Quarry dinosaur tracks.

QUEENSLAND paleontologists have discovered stampeding dinosaurs in central-west Queensland were most likely swimming rather than running.

The 95-98 million-year-old tracks in the Lark Quarry Conservation Park show claw scratches and "tippy-toe" grooves mark the world's only recorded dinosaur stampede.

University of Queensland PhD candidate Anthony Romilio led the study of thousands of small dinosaur tracks preserved in thin beds of siltstone and sandstone deposited in a shallow river when the area was part of a vast, forested floodplain.

He said, together with other findings, the tracks might now indicate a river crossing rather than a stampede.

"Many of the tracks are nothing more than elongated grooves, and probably formed when the claws of swimming dinosaurs scratched the river bottom," he said.

"Some of the more unusual tracks include tippy-toe traces - this is where fully buoyed dinosaurs made deep, near vertical scratch marks with their toes as they propelled themselves through the water.

"It's difficult to see how tracks such as these could have been made by running or walking animals.

"If that was the case we would expect to see a much flatter impression of the foot preserved in the sediment."

Mr Romilio said that similar looking swim traces made by different sized dinosaurs also indicated fluctuations in the depth of the water.

"The smallest swim traces indicate a minimum water depth of about 14cm, while much larger ones indicate depths of more than 40 cm," Mr Romilio said.

"Unless the water level fluctuated, it's hard to envisage how the different sized swim traces could have been preserved on the one surface.

"Some of the larger tracks are much more consistent with walking animals, and we suspect these dinosaurs were wading through the shallow water."

Mr Romilio said the swimming dinosaur tracks at Lark Quarry belonged to small, two-legged herbivorous dinosaurs known as ornithopods.

Swimming Lark Quarry dinosaur drawing. Lark Quarry dinosaur tracks in central-west Queensland. 2013.
Swimming Lark Quarry dinosaur drawing. Lark Quarry dinosaur tracks in central-west Queensland. 2013.

Topics:  dinosaurs paleontology university of queensland



Authorities beg parents to ban devices in bedrooms at night

Primary school age children can be easily targeted by online predators.

Primary school aged girls and boys being asked to send naked pics

Fashionistas behind new clothing boutique

Louise Schmidt and Wendy Stensson are preparing to launch Soul Sista.

Louise Schmidt and Wendy Stensson are preparing to launch Soul Sista

COMMENT: All eyes on Hanson for state poll

Pauline Hanson

One Nation politician a LNP lackey?

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

The suburb where house, land prices are spiking

ON THE RISE: 13 Kallatina Terrace, Karalee will go to auction on March 31. Karalee house prices went up 9.9% in the past year.

"It has good hospitals, universities and schools."

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!