A team of paleontologists from Brisbane's University of Queensland has discovered what they believe is the largest dinosaur footprint ever found on our planet. The relentless crew spent nearly 400 hours over a period of five years searching in a barren coastal area of Western Australia known as Walmadany, often nicknamed “Australia’s Jurassic Park.” Researchers have catalogued and identified 21 separate types of dino tracks within a 15.5-mile region of the Dampier Peninsula's rocky coastline, including this ginormous sauropod footprint measuring 5 feet 9 inches in length. Their foot-stomping report was published this week in the online journal, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
“The tracks provide a snapshot, a census if you will, of an extremely diverse dinosaur fauna,” team leader Steve Salisbury told Gizmodo. “Twenty-one different types of dinosaurs all living together at the same time in the same area. We have never seen this level of diversity before, anywhere in the world. It’s the Cretaceous equivalent of the Serengeti! And it’s written in stone.”
In addition to the behemoth plant-muncher's 100 million-year old footprint, Salisbury and his scientists also found five types of meat-eater dinosaur tracks, six armored dino tracks, and the first-ever stegosaur impressions found in Australia. In all, 48 distinct dinosaurian tracksites were identified.
“It’s such a magical place—Australia’s own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting," Salisbury added.