Footprints of world’s largest dinosaur species that lived 100 million years ago found in China

Footprints of world’s largest dinosaur species that lived 100 million years ago found in China

Gigantic footprints of the world’s largest dinosaur species, a sauropod, which roamed the Earth 100 million years ago, have been discovered in the courtyard of a restaurant in China.

Sauropods are distinguished by their massive size, they can reach up to 50 feet in length, and their long necks and tails. The famous Brontosaurus is part of this group.

The footprints were spotted by an Ou Hongtao, a diner at the restaurant in the Leshan district, who noticed several large pits in the stones of the yard. These footprints are also the first evidence of dinosaurs roaming the city.

Paleontologists were called to the scene and determined the footprints were made by two dinosaurs, with the larger of the pair measuring around 26 feet long.

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The footprints belong to two sauropods, the largest of which is 26 feet long.  Dinosaurs roamed the Earth 100 million years ago

The footprints belong to two sauropods, the largest of which is 26 feet long. Dinosaurs roamed the Earth 100 million years ago

The restaurant used to be a chicken farm and at that time the prints were covered with a layer of dirt. And that is what has protected and preserved them, reports CNN.

The restaurant owner said he removed the dirt to expose the large boulders, but liked the natural look of the uneven stones and left them as they were instead of covering them with a layer of cement.

The researchers confirmed the footprints using a 3D ground scanner, which uses radar pulses to image the subsurface without destroying the ground or, in this case, the dinosaur footprints.

The footprints are now surrounded by a fence to prevent people from walking on them, and the owner plans to cover them with a shed, Lida Xing, a paleontologist and associate professor at China University of Geosciences, told CNN.

The footprints were spotted in the courtyard of a restaurant in China.  Paleontologists mapped parts of each footprint that belonged to massive dinosaurs

The footprints were spotted in the courtyard of a restaurant in China. Paleontologists mapped parts of each footprint that belonged to massive dinosaurs

Sauropods are distinguished by their massive size, they can reach up to 50 feet in length, and their long necks and tails

China’s vast landscape is known for its treasure trove of dinosaur finds, with a previous one of an embryo in 2021.

In December, a perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo was found curled up inside a fossilized egg, unearthed in southern China, dating back around 66 to 72 million years.

The embryo, dubbed “Baby Yingliang,” was found in rocks of the “Hekou Formation” at Shahe Industrial Park in Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province.

Paleontologists led by the University of Birmingham have said that Baby Yingliang belonged to a species of toothless-beaked theropod dinosaurs, or “oviraptorosaurs”.

Oviraptors, which were feathered, are found in the rocks of Asia and North America and had varying beaks and body sizes allowing them to adopt a wide range of diets.

The researchers confirmed the footprints using a 3D ground scanner, which uses radar pulses to image the subsoil without destroying the ground or, in this case, the dinosaur footprints.

The researchers confirmed the footprints using a 3D ground scanner, which uses radar pulses to image the subsoil without destroying the ground or, in this case, the dinosaur footprints.

Pictured is the front of the resta

Pictured is the front of the resta

The specimen is one of the most complete dinosaur embryos known and notably sports a posture closer to those seen in embryonic birds than those typically found in dinosaurs.

Specifically, Baby Yingliang was about to hatch and had her head under her body, her back wrapped in the blunt end of the egg, and her feet positioned on either side of it.

Baby Yingliang takes its nickname from the Yingliang Stone Museum of Nature History in Xiamen, among whose fossil collections it is located.

A perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo has been found curled up inside a fossilized egg (pictured), unearthed in southern China, which is around 66-72 million years old.  The discovery, made in December, is one of many in China

A perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo has been found curled up inside a fossilized egg (pictured), unearthed in southern China, which is around 66-72 million years old. The discovery, made in December, is one of many in China

Researchers believe that the embryonic oviraptorosaurus would have measured about 10.6 inches (27 cm) from head to tail, but grew coiled up inside a 6.7 inch (17 cm) long egg.

In modern birds, such a posture is adopted during “tucking” – an embryonic behavior controlled by the central nervous system that is essential for successful hatching.

The discovery of such behavior in Baby Yingliang suggests that it is not unique to birds, but rather may have first evolved among non-avian theropod dinosaurs.

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