Tracking Dinosaurs Down Under



The dinosaur tracks at Australia’s Lark Quarry, discovered in the 1960s, have been billed as the world’s only known example of a dinosaur stampede that was preserved as a fossil. But a new study of the tracks suggests a different story. Since the 1970s, researchers have believed the thousands of footprints reflected a stampede of tiny dinosaurs fleeing a large predator.

But a new and controversial interpretation suggests the large dinosaur was not a carnivore after all, and the dinosaurs were strolling downstream on tippy-toes. A team of Australian paleontologists now believes that all of the tracks were left by just one species of plant-eating dinosaur, and that water varying between 5 and 63 inches deep (13 and 160 cm) buoyed the animals as they crossed through the area.*

God’s Word holds the clue to the real story. Surging waters during the early months of the global Flood would have brought ocean water and sand inland. Fleeing dinosaurs likely pressed their footprints into wet sediment, and incoming waves produced the difference in water levels. In subsequent surges, the weight from new layers of sediment would have pressed out the water until interspersed minerals cemented the grains, preserving the buried dinosaur prints. Meanwhile, the track makers were swept away in the Deluge.

The dinosaur tracks attest to the reality of God’s judgment in Noah’s Flood, which is no fiction but an actual historical event. Such reminders of judgment should motivate us some 4,350 years later to spread the gospel of God’s grace and the escape from future judgment, available only through Jesus Christ.

* A. Romilio, R. T. Tucker, and S. W. Salisbury, “Re-evaluation of the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Tracksite (Late Albian–Cenomanian Winton Formation, Central-Western Queensland, Australia): No Longer a Stampede?” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33 no.1 (2013): 102–120.

Answers Magazine

October – December 2013

With an updated interior design, the fall issue has it all, from breaking down the big bang to building a better understanding of dinosaurs, from public schools to pinnipeds, and from archaeological discoveries at Çatalhöyük to the astronomical delight of a Christmas comet.

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