Aussie sized footprints

The Aussies have got us beat as far as footprints go. In area that has 21 different identified dinosaur tracks they have discovered the world’s largest – 1.7 meters across. If one of those beasties stood on me lying down it would just about cover me completely.

University of Queensland: ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’ the world’s most diverse

An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometre stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed “Australia’s Jurassic Park”.

A team of palaeontologists from The University of Queensland… unveil the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Lead author Dr Steve Salisbury said the diversity of the tracks around Walmadany (James Price Point) was globally unparalleled…

“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half the continent and providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period,” Dr Salisbury said.

“There are thousands of tracks around Walmadany. Of these, 150 can confidently be assigned to 21 specific track types, representing four main groups of dinosaurs, ” Dr Salisbury said.

“There were five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from long-necked herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armoured dinosaurs.

“Among the tracks is the only confirmed evidence for stegosaurs in Australia. There are also some of the largest dinosaur tracks ever recorded. Some of the sauropod tracks are around 1.7 m long.”

CNN: World’s biggest dinosaur footprint found in ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’

richard_hunter_with_giant_spod_track_sws

I bet it wasn’t as fast as our Phar Lap.

They are presumably guessing at the overall size and shape but that’s a big print. And I guess rock doesn’t shrink over 130 million years.

Were there advanced dinosaurs?

We have pieced together quite a bit of information about dinosaurs due to the discovery of a few fossilised bones here and there.

But there seems top be quite a bit that has been guessed – for example what they actually looked like.

And there is a lot that isn’t known and probably can never be known.

Would we be able to tell if some type of dinosaur – or another type of creature – developed far more than others, became the dominant species, and then died out, either due to a global catastrophe like a meteor strike, or super survival rates allowed survival of most rather than just the strongest and then tougher conditions, like an ice age, ended up being unsurvivable for a genetically weakened and hardship inexperienced species?

Humans only got a bit smart over the last million or two years ago, and substantially smart over the past 100,000 or so years. And we only become advance, quite rapidly, over the past 10,000 years – probably coinciding with the end of the last ice age.

Does the way evolution inevitably works mean we have drastically weakened our genetic stock and our ability to  survive without substantial technology is quickly fading.

What if the power suddenly went off and we had to survive in a world absent of electricity?

It’s not long ago that our ancestors could manage without switches and computers. But the human population has dramatically increased in the electricity age. Many people would struggle without it, businesses would struggle without it.

Pressure would go on those who had sufficient resources and survival skills as others want to co-opt a way to survive.

Maybe just like empires rise and fall species inevitably rise and fall over a longer time frame.

A devastating virus may mutate and we are unable to find a way of surviving it quickly enough.

A massive volcanic eruption may severely disrupt the world food supply for a year or two.

Or we could meet a meteor.

Any number of things could happen. Even the smarter dinosaurs didn’t survive.