Vandals damage 115-million-year-old dinosaur footprint near Melbourne

SYDNEY (dpa)- Vandals have damaged a 115-million-year-old dinosaur footprint imprinted in rock near the southern Australian city of Melbourne, local media reported Wednesday.
Park rangers discovered someone had chipped the edge of the 30-centimetre high footprint with a hammer at Bunurong Marine Park at Inverloch, 145 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, which is one of the few Ice Age dinosaur sites in the world.

"The rock there is reasonably hard so it looks like it's been hit with a hammer and pieces of the rock around the edge of the footprint have been broken away," park ranger Brian Martin told national broadcaster ABC.
"For someone to damage it intentionally, you'd have to have a rough idea of where it is because seaweed grows on the rock platform and it looks like a normal rock until you look closely and see the outline of the footprint."
The footprint, believed to be from a meat-eating megalosaurus that stood seven metres tall on two legs, was discovered in 2006.
Scientists made a silicon rubber mould of the print and decided to leave the print where it was so park visitors could see where it had been for millions of years.
"The thrill of seeing a real dinosaur footprint has been diminished with the callous act of vandalism," Mike Cleeland from the Bunurong Environment Centre said in a statement.
Broken pieces have been retrieved and Cleeland said he hopes the footprint can be restored by technicians at Museum Victoria. Rangers are investigating, in an effort to find the vandals.

Thursday, December 21st 2017

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