Rare 3D dinosaur footprints found in Chongqing

16:13, June 17, 2010      

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Dinosaur footprints.(file photo)

The China-U.S. Science Expedition recently found a number of rare three-dimensional dinosaur footprints when they were investigating and researching dinosaur footprints in the Lianhuabao Village of Qijiang County, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Experts said the discovery of the three-dimensional dinosaur footprints helps scientist understand the way dinosaurs walk. At present, experts are further investigating and researching these footprints.

The group of dinosaur footprints was found in Lianhuabao Village in 2003 and is currently the largest from the cretaceous period. There are more than 300 dinosaur footprints, including concave and convex footprints, distributed in an area of 140 square meters and they belong to the Ankylosaurus, Anatosaurus and Theropoda.

During their research, the experts found that some well-preserved convex dinosaur footprints have three toes, with a mound-shaped metatarsal print at the heel and a hoof-shaped claw print at each toe. The footprints are half a meter long and are much longer than those found in the past which were only a few centimeters long. The study shows that these footprints are really 3D dinosaur footprints that belong to the Hadrosaurus.

Xing Lida, an expert from the science expedition, explained, "There probably was a mud pit where the 3D dinosaur footprints were found. When the Hadrosaurus walked there, it left traces. Afterwards, the pit was filled and formed a mold. Then, we found the interesting footprints." He added, "We can even clearly see the change of the Hadrosaurus' toes, from splaying to closing together."

By People's Daily Online
Additional support provided by LOTO


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