Giant predatory dinosaur tracks from the coalfields of southern Queensland

17 June 2020

University of Queensland research, led by palaeontologist Dr Anthony Romilio, has uncovered evidence that giant carnivorous dinosaurs once roamed the swamp forests of southern Queensland during the latter part of the Jurassic Period, between 165 and 151 million-year-ago.

Tracks discovered in the ceilings of underground coal mines from Rosewood near Ipswich, and Oakey just north of Toowoomba, back the 1950s and 1960s, point to the presence of large-bodied carnivorous dinosaurs, some of which were up to 3 metres high at the hips and probably around 10 metres long.

Most of these footprints are around 50–60 cm in length, with some of the really huge tracks measuring nearly 80 cm. To put that into perspective, T. rex got to about 3.25 m at the hips and attained lengths of 12–13 m long, but it didn’t appear until around 90 million years after the Queensland giants.

The Queensland tracks were probably made by giant carnosaurs (the group that includes Allosaurus fragilis).  At the time, these were probably some of the largest predatory dinosaurs on the planet.

Read the full UQ News media release here

Read our article for The Conversation here