Some things in this world are difficult to comprehend. For instance, it is hard to believe that 150 million years ago, there were creatures whose footprints alone were as large as a human being. We’re talking about dinosaur tracks found in Western Australia, some measuring a staggering 170 centimeters in length, making them the largest ever discovered. Along the Kimberley coast, fossilized footprints from around twenty different species have been unearthed. However, while dinosaurs no longer roam the earth, there are some prehistoric species that still survive and exist in the country to this day. One of those is the Macrozamia conferta, a prehistoric cycad plant found at our MacIntyre Wind Farm in Queensland.
In fact, it is a remarkable example of coevolution, where these prehistoric plants and dinosaurs coexisted and mutually benefited from each other’s presence. Several cycad species gradually grew to the height of the long-necked sauropods, which consumed their seed cones as a dietary supplement. The cycads also developed toxins like macrozamine to prevent smaller animals from munching on the seeds. Only large species like the Stegosaurus, which swallowed the cones whole without chewing the seeds, could withstand the toxin synthesized by the macrozamias.
Millions of years later, one of these prehistoric plants, the Macrozamia conferta, has become the subject of a protection program to ensure its survival in a small region of Queensland, situated on the MacIntyre Wind Farm. Thanks to this initiative, these plants, which once coexisted with dinosaurs, will now be able to coexist with the latest generation of wind turbines.