A close look at Victoria's first known dinosaur tracks

Anthony J. Martin

Memoirs of Museum Victoria Vol 74 p. 63–71 (2016)

DOI
http://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.2016.74.06

Abstract

Lower Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) rocks of Victoria, Australia are well known for their dinosaur body fossils, but not so much for their trace fossils. For example, the first known dinosaur track from the Eumeralla Formation (Albian) of Knowledge Creek, Victoria, was not discovered until 1980. This specimen, along with two more Eumeralla tracks found at Skenes Creek in 1989, constituted all of the dinosaur tracks recognised in Lower Cretaceous strata of southern Australia until the late 2000s. Unfortunately, none of these first-known dinosaur tracks of Victoria were properly described and diagnosed. Hence, the main purpose of this study is to document these trace fossils more thoroughly. Remarkably, the Knowledge Creek and one of the Skenes Creek tracks are nearly identical in size and form; both tracks are attributed to small ornithopods. Although poorly expressed, the second probable track from Skenes Creek provides a search image for less obvious dinosaur tracks in Lower Cretaceous strata of Victoria. The Skenes Creek tracks were also likely from the same trackway, and thus may represent the first discovered dinosaur trackway from Victoria. These tracks are the first confirmed ornithopod tracks for Victoria, augmenting abundant body fossil evidence of small ornithopods (‘hypsilophodontids’) in formerly polar environments during the Early Cretaceous.

Citation

Martin, A.J., 2016. A close look at Victoria's first known dinosaur tracks. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 74: 63-71. http://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.2016.74.06

PUBLICATION DATE: 30 July 2016

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