100-mln-year-old dinosaur footprints found in east China
Paleontologists announced Tuesday in Beijing they had discovered a group of 100-million-year-old fossils of dinosaur footprints in east China's Zhejiang Province.
Over 20 footprints, ranging from 22.7 cm to 82 cm in length, were discovered in a village in the city of Lanxi, according to Xing Lida, an associate professor with the China University of Geosciences (Beijing). Experts estimate the dinosaurs' body length ranged from 3.8 to 14 meters.
The footprints are believed to date back 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period, indicating that a large number of sauropods were active in the area, which was believed to be rich in water and grass at that time. Experts infer there would have been carnivorous dinosaurs in symbiosis with these herbivorous dinosaurs, but no evidence has been found so far.
Xing and Martin Lockley, a professor at the University of Colorado, were among the authors of the study, which was published in Historical Biology.
Paleontologists are now working with local authorities to better protect these rare footprints.