Kimberley - James Price Point June 14 - 15 2018
  In the morning there's a couple of rainbow bee-eaters to entertain us.

They look different to the woodswallows in flight. Then we realised they were a different colout.

  An eagle of some sort. Flying hard to stay still in the morning breeze.

Shortly after this it caught something in the grass.

  But, in the afternoon, back to the great dinosaur track hunt.

The remains of a track (single footprint).

Sauropods have four roundish feet, theropods are smaller and walk on two three-toed feet.

Ergo, this must be from a sauropod.

  A more distinct ridge, which used to be a gully, where the sauropods supposedly walked.

The softer, uncompressed, rock either side, eroded.

We haven't yet figured out if that's a bit of scientific excess or real. We don't know enough.

But we can recognise the ridges and the surface "dinoturbations" (not my word, one of the scientific papers used it and it sounded right).

  Back to a higher layer (horizon if I have my geological terms correct).

Like giant molars removed from heaven knows what.

And a bit in cross-section.

I do hope memories of this image don't pursue me to the dentist.

  Getting closer to recognisable tracks. The indentations are a bit deeper. But still not totally convinced. Even though after a couple of days we can reasonably predict what we will see.
  A longer ridge, the dinoturbations are becoming more distinct.

We are following the tide out.

The tide table say it will be lower than previous days. It may be a spring tide. Hopefully that will create some luck for us.

  As we reach the water we become more interested in the marine life.
  Including large clams.

Which seem to make good bait for fishermen who have appeared and precede us to the outer edges of the rocks.

  And yes, we think we are lucky.

After a bit of paddling we reach a 300m long ridge, along the water's edge, that so obviously contains dinosaur footprints ..... as long as one has been pre-conditioned to see them as dinosaur tracks that is.

  The round holes seem to run in lines along the ridge.
  There's even some which may have been made by theropod toes.
  They also have raised edges.

One can imagine mud oozing.

  Some holes contain stones.

Which moved around by the waves will make the holes bigger, and rounder.

But are unlikely to create a raised lip.

  A discarded clam shell.

The little bits of remaining flesh are fresh. Bait.

  Two toes?

Sauropods have toes. Not as distinct and claw like as three-toed theropods.

  left front, right rear ..... right front, left rear.

Sauropod front feet are smaller than back feet.

  As the sun lowered, and the shadows lengthened, the lines of tracks became more obvious to us.

We can't (yet) put several tracks together to see a trackway. But we can imagine something weighing 60 tonnes leaving tracks.

We are just about convinced.

I can only imagine the effort required for a dinosaur to walk through mud of this sort of depth. I know that if I try to walk through ankle deep mud I usually have to go back and retrieve my shoes. Without shoes the suction keeping my feet in the mud is hard to overcome.

The mud must have been viscous to hold its shape after the dinosaurs had passed. The stickier the mud the more effort to walk through it.

I suspect there lies a partial answer to the segregation of tracks from different dinosaurs. The smaller dinosaurs can keep to higher ground where the mud is not so deep, the larger (taller but heavier) sauropods slide down into the gully where they are ok in the deeper mud.

The shape of their feet, flat round vs toes/claws (sounds like coffee) would also play a part in where it was easier to walk. 

  Paddling back we see live "coral" that reminds us of the Indiana Jones Skull we saw at Cleaverville.

As well as Sauropods and Theropods which seem distinct enough for us there are apparently tracks of Thyreophorans (walk on four feet, smaller than sauropods and different foot print) and Ornithopods (walk on two feet, smaller than Theropods, with a different foot print).

Our dinosaur tracking skills are not sufficiently developed to count past two .... let alone the 21 than others have identified.

  There's even a green one.

Looks to us like something from a Dr Who script.

  After negotiating the broken rocks, all too quickly the day is over and we return to the truck.
  Look carefully, there are still a couple of people on the final ridge next to the sea.


They have two 4wds parked on the beach.

Those rocks look very different when stood in the middle of them.

And they are all covered at high tide.

Our low tide is 0.94m. It will be 1.05m tomorrow. And 2.35m in a few days. And 3m in 4 days time. Which possibly means the ridge is either normally inaccessible on foot or more probably under water at low tide. We have indeed fluked a spring tide.

  Broome wouldn't be Broome without a pic of a sunset.
  A lazy morning. Talking to the neighbours.

Then an afternoon stroll. Possibly a mistake, but return to the same ridge.

On the way a crab paused to poise.

  We are determined to convince ourselves these are dinosaur tracks.
  With a brief interlude to watch the black (sooty) oyster catcher not catch any oysters, though there are plenty about on the rocks.
  We were a bit early, or the tide was a bit late.

We look across the water at the dunes.

  This is soft.
  We saw a solitary pelican yesterday, today a few more.
  Will it join into a circle?
  All of the crabs we've seen up to now have been blue.

This looks fatter.

  Fish .... a clue,

its blue (and brown).

We also saw a couple of rays exiting one of the large pools we had to paddle through.

We reached the same ridge we walked on yesterday but apart from gazing in awe at the tracks to interpret more would require a lot more effort. Unfortunately, tomorrow we move on.

We don't know if we will have another opportunity, but the tracks have been here for the last 130 million years so hopefully they won't disappear soon.

  All worthwhile as the sun set,


  But wait, there's another different crab.

Alive, but instead of skuttling away it played dead.

  Not a dinosaur, a single bird print in the beach sand.

A clue as to what the elusive three-toed theropod tracks may have looked like.

  The sun just disappeared tonight. Few clouds. Left to colour the sky and reflect in the rock pools.
Kimberley - Horizontal Falls June 16 - 17 2018

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