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21 12, 2017

Rare Australian Dinosaur Footprint Vandalised

By |2024-05-10T09:50:38+01:00December 21st, 2017|General Teaching|Comments Off on Rare Australian Dinosaur Footprint Vandalised

Australian Dinosaur Footprint Deliberately Damaged

A three-toed dinosaur footprint that was created around 115 million years ago has been deliberately attacked and damaged by vandals.  The track, which dates from the Early Cretaceous, was discovered in 2006 in the Bunurong Marine Park in the Australian state of Victoria.  It is not known when the print was attacked, it was found damaged by members of a school tour party last week.  A spokesperson for the Marine Park stated that the track seems to have been damaged by blows from a hammer, this was not an accident but an individual or individuals chose to smash the toe prints.

The Fossil Dinosaur Footprint (left undamaged and right damaged)

Vandalised dinosaur footprint.
Theropod footprint vandalised in Australia.

Picture credit: Parks Victoria

The picture on the left shows the undamaged footprint, whilst the right half of the image shows the vandalised track, note the left boot used to show scale.

Damaged Dinosaur Footprint

Fragments from the footprint have been found in the area, palaeontologists from Museums Victoria might be able to restore the print to some degree, but the repaired print will not be the same as the original.

A spokesperson from UK-based Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is very sad news.  When the footprint was found, it could have been removed to a museum for safe-keeping and study, but it was decided to leave the track in place so that everybody could enjoy it.  We hope the authorities are able to apprehend the culprits.”

Parks Victoria have appealed for witnesses and requested assistance in the tracking down of the vandals responsible.

21 12, 2017

Sneak Peek of the New Prehistoric Times (Issue 124)

By |2024-05-10T09:51:00+01:00December 21st, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

The Front Cover of the Next Edition of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Editor Mike Fredericks has sent Everything Dinosaur an image of the front cover of the next issue of Prehistoric Times.  Inside, there is a special article on the fauna of the Hateg Island, an isolated landmass in the middle of the shrinking Tethys Ocean that had a unique ecosystem with giant pterosaurs such as Hatzegopteryx (H. thambema) the likely apex predators.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times issue 124
The front cover of Prehistoric Times (Winter).

Picture credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

Dinosaurs of Romania

The rocks that formed the Cretaceous island are in Romania (Transylvania) and many of the dinosaurs found in these sediments are not found anywhere else.  It was the famous Hungarian palaeontologist Franz Nopcsa who postulated that the finite resources on an island would lead to a reduction in body size for animals over subsequent generations.  Nopcsa proposed a theory called “insular dwarfism”, that over time, island dwellers, due to limited resources such as food and space would become smaller.  This idea is also known as the “island rule”.

Azhdarchid pterosaurs were capable of flying great distances and therefore, these giants were not constrained by islands.  Giants like Hatzegopteryx have been depicted stalking horsetail groves snatching up dwarf titanosaurs such as a juvenile Magyarosaurus and swallowing it whole.

Fighting Over the Carcass of a Struthiosaurus

Prehistoric Times issue 124.
Balaur bondoc on the front cover of Prehistoric Times issue 124.

Picture credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

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The Unique Palaeofauna of Hateg Island

The close-up view of the cover (above) shows a trio of theropods fighting over the carcass of an armoured dinosaur.  We suspect the victim is the nodosaurid Struthiosaurus, which at two metres long, typifies the concept of “insular dwarfism”.  The animals fighting over the remains of the plant-eater, we think represent Balaur bondoc, a strange animal known from two specimens.  When first described in 2010, it was thought B. bondoc was a dromaeosaurid, albeit one with two sickle-shaped claws on each foot.  However, recent studies have interpreted it as a large, flightless bird, ironically flightless birds are another natural phenomenon associated with islands.

To read more about the discovery of Balaur bondocThe Stocky Dragon from Hateg Island.

We look forward to receiving the next issue of Prehistoric Times.

For more information about this excellent magazine and to enquire about subscribing: Prehistoric Times Magazine.

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