Dinosaur footprints in the ceiling of the Westvale Colliery near Rosewood, Queensland.
Dinosaur footprints in the ceiling of the Westvale Colliery near Rosewood, Queensland.

Dinosaur fossils could make Gladstone global hotspot

The Gladstone region could become a dinosaur hotspot, according to Dr Anthony Romilio, who is documenting discoveries at the Callide mine and Biloela.

The renowned paleontologist said considering those discoveries, there would more fossils around the region, but we just need to find them.

"For me, any fossil is great, and knowing that there is more out there close to Gladstone is fantastic," he said.

"I am also following leads and trying to track down what the Callide mine knows.

"But it would be nice to get some more information, to get it out to the wider community and do some analysis of what was in the Gladstone region in the early Jurassic."

Preservation of the information, by protecting sites or taking digital photos, is key to finding out more about dinosaurs of the region.

"We need to preserve what we have, so if we have specimens or people can take a series of photographs and send those photos to me, I can make a 3D model of them and get some really highly detailed information from that," he said.

"I really love having the community involved, because they're the eyes on the ground with the experience, whether it be there own, or their families or friends seeing tracks or other fossils and they can really contribute greatly to our understanding."

 

Palaeontologist Dr Anthony Romilio of the University of Queensland discovered Australia's biggest carnivorous dinosaur that roamed Gladstone 160 million years ago.
Palaeontologist Dr Anthony Romilio of the University of Queensland discovered Australia's biggest carnivorous dinosaur that roamed Gladstone 160 million years ago.

 

The recent discovery of footprints from a new Jurassic species of dinosaur, almost the size of a T-rex in Queensland near Ipswich, has sparked new interest, Dr Romilio said.

"I had a person who used to be a surveyor of the Callide mine contact me and he said 10 years ago as he was surveying around he found (dinosaur) tracks," he said.

"So I have got some photographs off him and I'm trying to get some more photographs and write a paper about that site.

"Then a couple of nights ago he said his kids, when they went to the local high school in Biloela, there was a dinosaur track in one of the offices so I'm on the search for that now.

"Also he said there is a track in the Biloela Silo (Queensland Heritage Park)

"At the Callide mine main office there are track there also."

With such a close proximity to Mount Morgan near Rockhampton, Dr Romilio said the Gladstone region could have many undiscovered dinosaur tracks, and possibly bones.

"Mount Morgan has the highest dinosaur diversity in the eastern half of Australia," he said.

"We're looking at footprints of at least seven different types of dinosaurs there.

"There are four different types of meat-eating dinosaurs and three different types of plant eating dinosaurs

"I've published two papers this year about Mount Morgan."

Different rock formations determine what type of fossils will be discovered in the Gladstone region.

"Dinosaur bones can be buried in sediment, but the sandstone preserves much more frequently the prints," Dr Romilio said.

"In Mount Morgan where they were digging the clay deposits and the Callide mine it brings evidence to the surface where it can be seen.

"It would be wonderful to get in touch with any of the miners from the Callide mine to find out what they know, as they were the eyes on the ground.

"They're the ones that can bolster Australia's knowledge of the dinosaur heritage in the Gladstone area."

Anyone with any information on dinosaur evidence in the Gladstone region can email Dr Romilio at a.romilio@uq.edu.au.



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