Sydney, Jan 10 (IANS) Australian paleontologists have discovered that the world's only recorded dinosaur stampede is largely made up of the tracks of swimming rather than running animals.
The University of Queensland's (UQ) doctoral candidate Anthony Romilio led the study of thousands of small dinosaur tracks at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, central-western Queensland.
Romilio says the 95-98 million-year-old tracks are preserved in thin beds of siltstone and sandstone deposited in a shallow river when the area was part of a vast, forested floodplain.
They were formed over several days and the dinosaurs were moving downstream, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology reports.
"Many of the tracks are nothing more than elongated grooves, and probably formed when the claws of swimming dinosaurs scratched the river bottom," Romilio said, according to a Queensland statement.
"The smallest swim traces indicate a minimum water depth of about 14 cm, while much larger ones indicate depths of more than 40 cm. Some of the larger tracks are much more consistent with walking animals, and we suspect these dinosaurs were wading through the shallow water," Romilio said.