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Question Your World: What is the Latest Dino-discovery?

By now we’re all aware that the dinosaurs were the gigantic rulers of Earth for about 200 million years and in that time frame they evolved in many shapes and sizes. Thanks to this long residency as a species on Earth it’s no wonder that we’re still finding new dino-evidence. So, what is the latest dino-discovery? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.

As of now the newest dinosaur news is a pretty big, literally. The most recent finding takes us to the north western Australia where paleontologists have just identified the largest dinosaur foot print on record. This newly discovered foot print clocks in at a whopping 5 feet and 9 inches in length, about the height of the average human being.

A long necked sauropod left this footprint in the Australian landscape about 130 million years ago along with a myriad of other footprints by a variety of different dino-species. In fact 21 other species are being studied at this same exact site now too! Scientists are also considering this one of the most diverse collection of footprints to be found in one area. This hints to the biodiversity that was available in this region back in the days of these “terrible lizards.” Remarkably this is also helping us better understand what was happening for non-avian dinosaurs in this region. As of now this is the first glimpse of non-avian dinosaurs in the Western portion of Australia during the early Cretaceous period.

In addition to all these findings they were also able to find the first evidence ever of Stegosaurs fossils in this part of the world. A venerable treasure trove of findings to help scientists better get a snapshot of what life was like all those millions of years ago. This incredible find was almost lost forever as the government there had plans for a large scale liquid natural gas production facility. Luckily, the Aboriginal inhabitants of that area were able to point out this area to researchers, thus making this study possible and ultimately adding to our collective human knowledge.

Of course we humans only began our relationship with dinosaurs in the early 1800’s when we started to look at abnormally large reptile bones from a scientific perspective. Sir Richard Owen would sooner after coin the term “dinosaur” and launched the topic into another level. Since then our fascination with these creatures really took off. The Bone Wars in the United States also yielded many discoveries and further fanned the flames of passion for these now-extinct beasts. There have been many important discoveries since then along with a huge catalog of pop-culture items that have made dinosaurs one of the most popular aspects of science and history.

As technology and research progress we learn more and more about the previous tenants of our beautiful planet. In fact in the past year alone we’ve identified the largest carnivorous dinosaur, discovered preserved dinosaur feathers, dug up several unknown species, learned about dino egg incubation, and much much more.

We Humans have been only around for just a quarter of a million years, so there’s still early 200 million years of history to learn about and based on the most recent findings we’ve clearly have some big shoes to fill.