Lark Quarry - Dinosaur trackways

Monday, Aug 31, 2009 at 00:00


Visitors to Lark Quarry can be a part of an experience unique in the world. Whereas other dinosaur trackways have been uncovered, only here there is evidence of a chase. This dinosaur stampede in part inspired Steven Speilberg’s story of Jurassic Park.

The fact the footprints were preserved in the drying mud at the water’s edge rather than just washed away is one uncommon occurrence. Covered and protected for 95 million years, and by chance discovered by a station manager in the 1960s, and excavated in 1976/77 is another. Digging deep into the hills, 3,300 footprints have been uncovered. In 2004, the site was placed on the National Heritage List. We are indeed fortunate to have this discovery made in our lifetime, and have the opportunity of sharing in the 95 million year old story.

International research has taken place, making comparisons with other trackways and fossil discoveries around the world, to calculate the size and speed of the large predator and the prey. They have also calculated the speed the predator reached as the footprints dug deeper into the muddy surface at the water’s edge.

There were three species present with adults and young included. Many small chook sized creatures were there panicking and running around, and a number of sheep sized dinosaurs who were probably the ones the giant fancied for dinner. The massive predator came in, and footprints show him striding further as he picked up speed.

Read more detail about this trip and see all the photos in our 2009 Travelogues

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