|Peter at work in the lab|
We parked our van in Winton just across from the Tattersalls Hotel (the “Tatts”) and travelled each day to the AAD centre on a Jump-Up (high clifftop) south of the town. In the evening pub meals were excellent and it was good to sit outside and chat to other travellers.
On our last day we drove about 200 kms to Lark Quarry where there is evidence of a hoard of dinosaur footprints which had been imbedded in soft mud, then covered in ironstone which preserved them for us to see 98 million years later. It is quite astonishing to where a large dinosaur came upon many smaller ones, and to see how the footprints scattered. The experts suggest that that panic episode only took 3-4 minutes, but that moment in time and its story is revealed to us eons later.
The area is undercover in an excellent custom built shelter and there are guided tours/talks three times each day. We took a picnic lunch and sat outside in a shaded shelter when all the visitors had left and enjoyed the desert like scenery with views of saltbush and spinifex and little native birds hanging around for crumbs. The guide came and sat with us while waiting his next group of people and a very personable and interesting young man he was, too. He considers it one of the best attractions in Australia - up there with Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef. It's hard not to agree with him.
|Footprint of the huge meat-eating dinosaur which caused the panicked rush of smaller dinosaurs.|
|The small dinosaur footprint (in positive) caused by ironstone. It's impossible not to touch it.|
This short period of our holiday learning about dinosaurs has been fascinating for us. The almost incomprehensible time span of 98 million years brings home to me that a human lifespan is a mere speck in time but we are so fortunate to be able to visit this area which is revealing so much of life millions of years ago.