Australian dinosaurs, sandstone, threats, new research

This video from Australia says about itself:


May 11, 2012

Woodside threaten National Heritage listed dinosaur footprints in Kimberley

Woodside jack-up barges could be on the verge of destroying National Heritage listed dinosaur footprints on the Kimberley coast today, according to information provided to conservation group Environs Kimberley. Woodside have not referred their proposal to Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke for approval.

The Australian Heritage Council describes the dinosaur footprints as follows:

“The Broome Sandstone tracks along the Dampier Coast are the best record of dinosaurs from the western half of the continent and the large number and variety of tracks in a range of depositional settings provides an otherwise unobtainable census of dinosaur populations and communities.

“The Broome Sandstone tracks are therefore one of the most taxonomically diverse dinosaur track sites known anywhere in the world and certainly the most diverse in Australia.”

A report provided by the company shows that the drilling, which starts today, is to take place right up against the boundary of the National Heritage Listed area in which dinosaur footprints are known to occur. Broome based conservation group Environs Kimberley is concerned that Woodside is drilling too close to the National Heritage boundary, in an area where no surveys have taken place.

“We are shocked that Woodside has not referred this project to the Federal Government, given that they are proposing to drill in such a sensitive site and as far as we know could be right on top of dinosaur footprints,” Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard said.

“The National Heritage boundary consists of the Intertidal Areas between Highest and Lowest Astronomical Tide, according to the government’s maps, and Woodside’s maps show they will be working very close to this area, and possibly within it, which is outrageous,” said Peter Robertson of the Wilderness Society.

“Woodside should stop work and refer this project to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, before any damage is done to a National Heritage listed area,” said Mr Pritchard.

Media Contact:

Martin Pritchard Environs Kimberley — 0427 548 075

Peter Robertson The Wilderness Society — 0409 089 020

More on the campaign to save the Kimberley enviroment and heritage: here.

From PLoS ONE:

Impact of Sauropod Dinosaurs on Lagoonal Substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous), Western Australia

Tony Thulborn

Kenmore, Queensland, Australia


Existing knowledge of the tracks left by sauropod dinosaurs (loosely ‘brontosaurs’) is essentially two-dimensional, derived mainly from footprints exposed on bedding planes, but examples in the Broome Sandstone (Early Cretaceous) of Western Australia provide a complementary three-dimensional picture showing the extent to which walking sauropods could deform the ground beneath their feet.

The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity. The stacks of transmitted reliefs (underprints or ghost prints) beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features.

Ultimately the sauropod track-makers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited. Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes. For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world.

Recently discovered dinosaur footprints in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are under threat from a proposed liquid natural gas project, according to a leading Australian expert: here.

15 thoughts on “Australian dinosaurs, sandstone, threats, new research

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  5. 30-ton dinos had sex doggy style

    Big News Network (ANI) Thursday 12th July, 2012

    Gigantic dinosaurs weighing more 30-tons and longer than four-storey buildings made love just like dogs do, scientists have revealed.

    It is a well known fact that dinosaurs ruled the Earth at some point and they could only have done this by being good at mating, but how they actually made love had been a mystery till now.

    “The most likely position to have intercourse is for the male behind the female, and on top of her, and from behind, any other position is unfathomable,” the Daily Mail quoted Kristi Curry Rogers, Assistant Professor of Biology and Geology at Macalester College in Minnesota as telling the Discovery Channel.

    However, some experts have questioned this line of thinking and suggested that dinosaurs romped in water.

    Stuart Landry, a biologist, believes that big dinosaurs would just fall over on land and would have needed water to provide support.

    Gregory Erickson, a paleobiologist at Florida State University backs Rogers’ findings.

    “It’s going to be very touch and go. It’s an awkward thing,” Erickson said.

    “I’ve heard speculation that they did it in the water, but they’re not aquatic animals. Just because they’re large animals, doesn’t mean they can’t mate on land – after all, elephants do it,” he added. (ANI)


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