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Photos: Dinosaur Tracks Reveal Australia's 'Jurassic Park'

Jurassic Park

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

In an effort to save their culture's history, the Goolarabooloo people of Australia called in a group of paleontologists to examine thousands of dinosaur footprints. The Goolarabooloo view the fossilized, three-toed track marks as evidence of a journey taken by one of people's creation beings. But the Western Australia government wanted to build a liquid-natural-gas–processing precinct in the area, on top of the prehistoric footprints.

When the paleontologists came to study the track marks, they found some of the largest dinosaur footprints on record. The area is the most diverse place on Earth for dinosaur footprints, the researchers discovered.

The government later called off its plans to build the plant, meaning the dinosaur prints will remain untouched, at least for the time being. [Read the full story on the dinosaur footprints]

Walmadany

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

Fossilized dinosaur footprints left along the coastline of Western Australia.

Sauropod footprint

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Salisbury et al./Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (2017))

Richard Hunter, the Goolarabooloo law boss, lies next to a giant sauropod dinosaur track.

Dinosaur diversity

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Salisbury et al., Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (2017))

The different types of dinosaurs that may have left footprints at Walmadany.

Sauropod track

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

Richard Hunter kneels near a sauropod track mark.

Ornithopod footprints

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Salisbury et al., Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (2017))

The various ornithopod dinosaurs that likely walked along the ancient land of Walmadany.

Fieldwork

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

Study researchers Jay Nair (left), Steven Salisbury (center) and Anthony Romilio (right) study the dinosaur footprints.

Sauropod prints

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Salisbury et al., Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (2017))

The different sauropods that likely left the giant footprints found in Walmadany.

Recording tracks

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

Steven Salisbury records the dinosaurs' fossilized footprints.

Theropod marks

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Salisbury et al., Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (2017))

The different meat-eating theropod dinosaur track marks found in Western Australia.

Stegosaur print

australia's dinosaur tracks

(Image credit: Damian Kelly)

The fossilized footprint of a stegosaur.