The fossilised footprints found near Skenes Creek belong to long-extinct dinosaurs.
In case the newest Jurassic World hitting the cinemas wasn’t enough for all the dinosaur enthusiasts out there, an epic discovery has been made a little closer to home this month with dinosaur footprints found preserved in rock platform on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.
As reported by the ABC, Tim Wagstaff and his wife Kate discovered preserved dinosaur footprints near Apollo Bay.
All going down at Skenes Creek, the couple – who spotted a type of marine rock shelf similar to another trace-fossil site – discovered 60 footprints of several sizes etched into the rock on the first day, which they told the ABC looked like a “three-footed toe very similar to a modern bird, like an emu’s foot”.
The track of prints stretches 25 metres across the rock shelf and is two metres wide.
Returning to the site, they soon discovered many more prints and have now been hurled into a real-life Jurassic adventure, working with palaeontologists across Australia to document and further investigate their find.
Sharing their find on social media, Kate Wagstaff said, “After hearing about and seeing the Australovenator footprints at Brown’s Creek we headed out to see if we could find more. We did not expect to find so many of what we believe to be previously unidentified tracks. With Tim Godfrey, we mapped out over 50 footprints today in the space of 25 metres. The Melbourne museum has been contacted and copious amounts of photos have been taken in the hope of getting a confirmed identification.
“We found the footprints in the morning, that afternoon Tim was driving past and saw a group of people in high vis. It was an engineer and his team assessing the road for possible works that need doing. There are already a large amount of boulders that have been tumbled over the edge of the road a few years ago to stabilise the hillside. One of the larger prints we found was only a few centimetres away from a boulder. The museum has not been in contact with us. By making it public and talking to the engineer (who was very receptive) we are protecting them from potentially being driven over by machinery and covered in boulders.”
Above video by Kate Wagstaff, documenting find along Great Ocean Road
Located in “prime dinosaur territory” that was known to be the home of a “fearsome predator”, according to Tim Ziegler, collections manager of vertebrate palaeontology at Museums Victoria, now more than 140 footprints have been uncovered.
Dr Anthony Romilio – Australian palaeoichnology expert – confirmed the footprints are “absolutely” made by dinosaurs. While that’s exciting enough on its own, there are many more footprints than first thought, and some belong to an unrecognisable dinosaur, maybe a newly discovered species.
While it’s far too early to know the details about which species might have left these historic marks, this is some seriously exciting news for the region.
Stay tuned for more.