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Over 4300 Dinosaur Footprints Dating Back 150 Million Years Discovered in China

By: Buzz Staff

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Last Updated: August 11, 2022, 18:02 IST

China

There are four distinct dinosaur species represented by the prints, none of which have been given names.  Representative Image, Credits: Shutterstock)

There are four distinct dinosaur species represented by the prints, none of which have been given names. Representative Image, Credits: Shutterstock)

Chinese researchers have discovered over 4,300 dinosaur footprints in the northern Chinese province of Zhangjiakou in Hebei, according to a report in South China Morning Post.

A scientific announcement in the first week of July said that the largest number of dinosaur footprint fossils have been found in Northern China. Chinese researchers have discovered over 4,300 dinosaur footprints in the northern Chinese province of Zhangjiakou in Hebei, according to a report in South China Morning Post. This discovery is touted to be a historic find in the field of paleoethology.

According to the publication, which cited academics, the 9,000 square meter-sized imprints were created between the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras, or roughly 150 million years ago. It was in April 2020 that the fossilised footprints, which also include claw impressions were discovered first. Later, they were positioned closely together.

The speed at which the dinosaurs walked, along with their length and weight can be determined from the track as reported by China Daily. “The footprints not only reflect dinosaurs’ living habits and behaviour, but also show the interaction between dinosaurs and their living environment at the time,” dinosaur specialist Xing Lida of China University of Geosciences told China Daily.

There are four distinct dinosaur species represented by the prints, none of which have been given names. The specialists speculate that one of the fossils may belong to a species that hasn’t yet been identified.

Both herbivores and carnivores can be determined in the collection of these footprints. The carnivores were smaller, measuring only four to five metres, whereas the herbivores could grow to lengths of almost 15 metres.

Because of its abundance of water and trees at the period of the dinosaurs, the scientists believe that the region may have attracted dinosaurs. The region is now a high, stony grassland with few vegetation.

Associate professor Xing Lida of Beijing’s China University of Geosciences told state broadcaster CGTN that this rock layer was created between the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras. “At that time, the extensive layer covered in footprints was still present. The greatest layer known to exist in China right now must be this enormous.”

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first published:August 11, 2022, 18:02 IST
last updated:August 11, 2022, 18:02 IST