Victorian Tracks

Ornithopod print
Theropod print
A small ornithopod print 10 cm long is known from Knowledge Creek in Victoria. It was found in Early Cretaceous (106 MYA) deposits of the Otway group.

In 2007 three large theropod prints were found about 15m from the Flat Rocks dinosaur site near Inverloch - a slight embaressment to the team that had been excavating there for at least a decade without noticing them. The animal that made this track type has been estimated to have been around 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall at the hips, making it comparable in size to a sub-adult tyrannosaur. The prints date to around 115 MYA.

The imprints of fossil feathers have also been found from Early Cretaceous deposits, near Koonwarra in eastern Gippsland. The small contour feathers that would have covered the body of the creature have been identified as those of birds, possibly Nanantius. Could these have actually been the insulatory feathers of a small dinosaur? They are precisely the sort of small contour feather that many scientists and artists have imagined may have covered small dinosaurs, but with the absence of any associated skeletal material there is no way of knowing this for sure.

Rich, P.V. and T.H.Rich 1993 Wildlife of Gondwana. The 500-million year history of vertebrate animals from the ancient southern supercontinent. Reed books, Sydney.

Rich, P.V., L.S.Rich and T.H.Rich 1996 Australia's Lost World. A history of Australia's backboned animals. Kangaroo Press, Monash Science Centre, Monash University.

Index of Trackways