Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Those ‘terrible lizards’ that lived on Broome’s coast

If you head to Broome cinemas watch out for ‘The Dinosaur Coast’, a story told by local kids about our Broome’s prehistoric past.

Voted the Best Science Short Film in the 2018 Mud and Saltwater Short Film Fest, you can expect to see prehistoric dinosaurs on Broome’s coast before the main movie at Sun Pictures and Sun Cinemas during November and December 2018.

The four minute film, made by Paul Bell from Feral Films, stars six Broome locals, namely Molly Bell, Alby Bell, Dwayne Wiggan Cox, Errol Cox, Oscar Pickering and Michelle Teoh.

The film starts with lead actress Molly Bell, who is on an expedition to find dinosaur tracks on Cable Beach, with a bunch of kids who are all mad about dinosaurs. As Molly says, “They’ve got dinosaur toys, they’ve got dinosaur books, they’ve got dinosaur movies, they’ve got dinosaur bags and they even have dinosaur jocks!”

Not only do Molly and her friends walk in the footsteps of prehistoric sauropods (Broome is the only place in Australia where you can currently see sauropod tracks), they hunt down a theropod 3-toed trackway and Michelle Teoh, a ‘living’ volunteer from the Dinosaur Coast Management Group.

Michelle Teoh explains to the children, “Theropods are carnivores and eat meat. They walk on their hind feet and while they are a bit smaller than a TRex, they were pretty fierce.”

The 130-million-year-old tracks showcased in the film, are found in the Broome Sandstone within the intertidal zone of the Broome coast. Research published in 2017 led by palaeologist Dr Steve Salisbury of the University of Queensland, has shown that the Broome dinosaur tracks are the most diverse and numerous in Australia, if not globally.

Since 2011, thousands of tracks made by over 20 species of dinosaurs, including six named after local people, have been identified from Roebuck Bay north along the Broome coast.

Micklo Corpus, Chairperson of the DCMG, said, ‘I hope the film will inspire the Broome community to protect the National Heritage-listed tracks so future generations can also enjoy them.’

This film was developed by the Roebuck Bay Working Group and Dinosaur Coast Management Group and the project is supported Rangelands NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and State NRM with support from Royalties for Regions.

by Kandy Curran, Project Manager, Roebuck Bay Working Group

(Top): Alby Bell, Dwayne Wiggan Cox, Errol Cox and Oscar Pickering walking in the tracks of a sauropod. © Paul Bell
(Right): Michelle Teoh explains to the children “When I first saw the 3-toed trackway, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up; it was as if the animal had just walked by.”