Drones Seek Dinosaurs In Western Australia
” Along the northwest Australian coast lies a dinosaur highway. With the Indian Ocean eating away at the rock, the red cliffs of the Kimberley have revealed hundreds of prehistoric footprints. Two-legged theropods and big-bodied sauropods, among other groups, walked this patch of Earth around 130 million years ago. Armed with drones and hand-held laser scanners, scientists are mapping the heavy tracks they left behind.
Anthony Romilio works in the Vertebrate Palaeontology and Biomechanics Lab at the University of Queensland. He and his team have created 3D models of track sites using a combination of high-resolution aerial photography and lidar — a way of measuring depth with laser light — gathered by hand, drone and light aircraft.
Publishing their digital approach in the journal PeerJ in March, Romilio and his team developed the high-tech method in response to the significant environmental challenges of mapping the coastal footprints.”