New South Wales Tracks

NSW print There are few dinosaur tracks recorded from New South Wales. A large ornithopod track (see left) found on the roof of an opal mine at Lightning Ridge is possibly from an animal similar to Muttaburrasaurus, if not from that species. It shows both the imprint of the foot and the ankle, possibly indicating a crouching animal. The dotted line in the image to the left is my creation, showing where the foot most likely ends and the ankle imprint begins. The footprint is about 40cm wide from outer toe to inner toe. It was found by opal miner Les Price about 15m (50 feet) below the surface. Photos and tracings of the track were sent to Dr Tony Thulborn at the Queensland Museum for indentification, although no dinosaur track expert has ever gone down the mine to look at it in person. Another four-fingered track was also found, which Dr Thulborn suggested may have been made by another unknown animal.

Other bird-like tracks have been reported from the sandstone roofs of an opal mine, possibly representing small theropods, however the mine in question has since collapsed, destroying the prints.

Smith, Elizabeth & Robert 1999 Black Opal Fossils of Lightning Ridge. Treasures from the Rainbow Billabong. Kangaroo Press, Sydney


Index of Trackways