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Dinosaur stampede trackway

>>>>> On Thu, 12 Jan 1995 10:29:30 -0500, swh@eatl.co.uk (Stephen Hurrell) said:

>> Richard Cowen said

>> ----- Begin Included Message -----
>> I agree that behavioral interpretations are often difficult to establish 
>> beyond all doubt (example of an exception: the dinosaur stampede in 
>> Australia, which *proves* rapid running beyond any doubt). 
>> ----- End Included Message -----

>> Do you have any futher information about this dinosaur stampede in Australia?
>> What size of animals were involved? It would be interesting if they were 
>> large
>> because this would indicate the maximum dynamic stress levels within their 
>> bodies.

Here is something I posted on it in late 93:

The following information comes from a brochure about Lark Quarry, a
dinosaur trackway site in Queensland, Australia.  My father sent it to
me after visiting the site.  LQ is in western Queensland, in the middle
of nowhere.  With its hundreds of prints, it is obviously a significant
find.  (Are there any more extensive footprint records?)  Some other
literature I have describes it as the only known evidence of a dinosaur

  Dinosaur trackway

  Evidence of a dinosaur stampede 100 million years ago occurs south of
  Winton on the eroded edge of the Tully Range.  Hundreds of dinosaur
  footprints are preserved in rock formed form the mud that once bordered
  a prehistoric lake.  Lark Quarry Environmental Park has been established
  to protect this unusual element of natural history and its surrounding
  landscape - stark, flat topped hills with steep gravel sides studded
  with spinifex.  Stunted eucalypts struggle to survive in some of the
  sandy areas between these hills.  To the west lie extensive Mitchell
  grass plains while to the east, the level top of the Tully Range is
  covered with lancewood and barren zones of ironstone pebbles.

  Discovered in the early 1960s by an observant manager of a nearby
  grazing property, the first dinosaur footprints were excavated in 1971.
  Queensland Museum officers and volunteers carried out further diggings
  during 1976-1977.  These revealed a large trackway containing graphic
  evidence of dinosaurs.

  Most of the footprints were made when a carnosaur trapped groups of
  coelurosaurs and ornithopods on the muddy edge of the lake.  The
  carnosaur, a large flesh-eating dinosaur, seemingly had attacked one
  unfortunate animal.  As it pursued that prey, the rest of the small
  dinosaurs fled in panic around the sides of the carnosaur.

  Because the mud was dry enough to retain the tracks, (yet sufficiently
  moist to prevent cracking), these footprints did not disappear.

  Water-borne sand and silt later filled the tracks and were in turn
  covered with more sand and silt.  Eventually, the layers were compressed
  to form rock.  As the world changed climatically, the dinosaurs became
  extinct.  Sea levels and temperatures rose and fell; continents collided
  and landscapes were altered.  Where once a lake had been, a low range
  eventually formed.  Its steep western edge was cut by the forces of
  erosion - wind, water, temperature and gravity.  As the edge of the
  range receded, isolated hills were left, one of which covered the
  dinosaur trackway.

  After the site had been excavated and recorded, it was covered with hay
  and plastic to minimise the effects of the weather upon the tracks until
  a permanent structure could shelter these (cold rain from a thunderstorm
  falling on to rick heated by the fierce outback sun would cause sever
  cracking of the trackway).  On the advice of the Quensland Museum, the
  Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service arranged for a large roof
  to be erected over the trackway.

  A short walking track leads from the shelter shed to a lookout with
  views over the inhospitable countryside.  The track continues in a small
  circuit so that visitors can examine more closely the vegetation and
  geology of Lark Quarry Environmental Park.  Care needs to be taken
  walking on the hard ironstone rocks and pebbles, and near the sharp,
  rigid spikes of the spinifex.

Three types of dinosaur footprints are preserved, described below:

Coelurosaur, about the same size and shape as a small emu chick.
Size: 150-250mm at hips.
Speed: 10-15 km/hr running  (6-10 mph)
Food: Eggs, insects, plants

Ornithopod, similar in size and shape to an emu.
Size: 120-600 mm at hips
Speed: 12-30 km/hr running (8-20 mph)
Food: Plants

Size: 2.6 m at hips
Speed: 8 km/hr walking (5 mph)
Food: Animals

Jim Foley                                    (303) 223-5100 x9765
Jim.Foley@FtCollinsCO.NCR.COM                NCR-MPD Fort Collins

        Cat: `I'm hungry, I just have to eat'
        Lister: `Shh, Rimmers dad's just died'
        Cat: `I'd prefer chicken'                    --- Red Dwarf