Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carnivorous Dinosaur Tracks Discovered In Australia

Date:
October 22, 2007
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
The first fossil tracks belonging to large, carnivorous dinosaurs have been discovered in Victoria, Australia, by paleontologists. The tracks are especially significant for showing that large dinosaurs were living in a polar environment during the Cretaceous Period, when Australia was still joined to Antarctica and close to the South Pole.

Photo of the dinosaur track. The scale is 10 cm (about 4 inches).
Credit: Photo by Anthony J. Martin

The first fossil tracks belonging to large, carnivorous dinosaurs have been discovered in Victoria, Australia, by paleontologists from Emory University, Monash University and the Museum of Victoria (both in Melbourne).

The tracks are especially significant for showing that large dinosaurs were living in a polar environment during the Cretaceous Period, when Australia was still joined to Antarctica and close to the South Pole.

The find is being reported October 19, at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Austin, Texas, by Anthony Martin, senior lecturer in environmental studies at Emory. Martin researched the find with Patricia Vickers-Rich and Lesley Kool of Monash University and Thomas Rich of the Museum of Victoria.

The three separate dinosaur tracks are about 14 inches long, show at least two or three partial toes, and were likely made by large carnivorous dinosaurs (theropods) on river floodplains about 115 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Based on track sizes, Martin estimates that these dinosaurs were 4.6 to 4.9 feet tall at the hip, large by human standards but about 20 percent smaller than Allosaurus, a large theropod from the Jurassic Period.

Martin found two of the tracks during a February 2006 visit with Rich to the "Dinosaur Dreaming" site, near the coastal town of Inverloch. Tyler Lamb, a Monash undergraduate student and volunteer at the dig site, found a third track in February 2007, having been alerted by Kool to look for them. Martin then confirmed its identity during a visit in July 2007. Other possible, partial dinosaur tracks have been found at the same site and another locality, but these have yet to be studied in detail.

Vickers-Rich and Rich have been studying the dinosaurs and mammals of Victoria for nearly 30 years. Lower Cretaceous strata of Victoria have yielded a sizeable amount of dinosaur skeletal material since the late 1970s, resulting in the best-documented polar dinosaur assemblage in the world. Until Martin's find in 2006, however, only one dinosaur track (from a small herbivorous dinosaur) had been documented.

"I think a lot more tracks are out there, but they've been too subtle to notice before now," Martin says. He and the other researchers say they are optimistic that additional tracks will be found, now that they have examples of the tracks to go by in their searches.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Carnivorous Dinosaur Tracks Discovered In Australia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019123615.htm>.
Emory University. (2007, October 22). Carnivorous Dinosaur Tracks Discovered In Australia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019123615.htm
Emory University. "Carnivorous Dinosaur Tracks Discovered In Australia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019123615.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

AP (July 24, 2014) The U.S. Mint has re-designed the John F. Kennedy half dollar coin to better match the former president's likeness. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins