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The Largest Dinosaur Footprints In The World Have Been Discovered

They are the size of a bath tub.

28/03/2017 11:34 AM AEDT | Updated 28/03/2017 2:39 PM AEDT
Steve Salisbury
A man next to the dinosaur footprint, holding a 40cm scale.

The largest dinosaur footprints in the world have been discovered in Western Australia.

The findings were published by the University of Queensland's vertebrate palaeontologist Steve Salisbury and detail dinosaur footprints spanning a massive 1.7 metres.

This new discovery surpasses the 77-centimetre wide footprints found in Mongolia in 2016, which were the largest known at the time.

The prints are said to belong to a dinosaur in the Sauropod family, a group of animals that were herbivores with long neck tails, small heads and massive limbs. After discovering the size of the footprints, Salisbury's team believe this could be the largest member of the Sauropod family.

The footprints were the largest found in a long stretch of fossilised dinosaur markings, discovered on the north coast of Western Australia. The report says the collection of footprints are among the most diverse in the world, and proves that large herbivores roamed Australia in ancient times. The zone is therefore, being called Australia's very own 'Jurassic Park.'

"The tracks provide a snapshot, a census if you will, of an extremely diverse dinosaur fauna," lead author 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."

The 24-kilometre stretch of land where the footprints where found, is home to the indigenous Goolarabooloo people, and is labelled James Price Point on most maps.

Some 130 million years ago, the area surrounding James Price Point was a large Delta. Dinosaurs are believed to have passed through this region continually, which has contributed to the frequency of and variation in footprints.

"There are huge areas around that coastline where all you can see are dinosaur tracks," Dr Salisbury told the ABC.

The work for scientists, however, has just begun. The next step, according to Dr Salisbury, is interpreting the footprints so the lives of dinosaurs can be better understood.

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