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Bill Simpson, collections manager of fossil vertebrates at Chicago's Field Museum, reaches over to dust the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as Sue on display at museum Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in Chicago. The skeleton was being cleaned in anticipation of her 10th anniversary at the museum. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

The largest-ever dinosaur footprint was discovered in Australia's 'Jurassic Park'


A team of paleontologists from the University of Queensland in Brisbane discovered the world's biggest dinosaur footprint in what's know as Australia's "Jurassic Park," according to a report published Friday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Scientists said of the 5-foot-9-inch footprint belonged to a sauropod, or a long-necked dinosaur. 

Steve Salisbury, the lead author of the study, noted that it's also the first evidence that Australia was home to a diverse population of dinosaurs.  

Twenty-one different types of dinosaurs were identified within an approximately 15-mile stretch of the Dampier Peninsula, the University of Queensland said in a press release.

“The tracks provide a snapshot, a census if you will, of an extremely diverse dinosaur fauna," Salisbury told Gizmodo. "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.”

Salisbury dedicated 400 hours over the course of five years to documenting the thousands of dinosaur tracks along the stretch of land called Walmadany. 

He added that most of Australia's dinosaur fossils come from the eastern side of the continent and are between 115 and 90 million years old. These tracks, however, which are between 127 and 144 million years old, are some of the oldest dinosaur remains on the continent.

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