400-plus dinosaur footprints discovered in SW China

2024-05-27 15:17:47Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Chinese researchers have recently discovered a large number of early Cretaceous dinosaur footprints in Liyuan village, Lufeng of the Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Geological age measurements of the site indicate that the rock layer containing the dinosaur footprints dates back over 120 million years, yet many of the footprints remain remarkably well-preserved, state broadcaster CCTV reported Monday.

The dinosaur footprints were first discovered by two local villagers while herding sheep, before they reported their findings to the local natural resources department. As the survey area expanded, more and more dinosaur footprints were found. By Sunday, researchers had discovered over 400 dinosaur footprints.

According to Wang Tao, director of the Lufeng City Dinosaur Fossil Protection and Research Center, the footprints can be categorized into three types: one from large sauropods, similar to those made by Brachiosaurus; another resembling those of Tyrannosaurus; and a third type that appears to be from armored dinosaurs like Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus.

Lufeng city has been a focal point for the discovery of dinosaur footprints since the 1990s. Renowned Chinese paleontologists and geologists, such as Xing Lida and Lü Junchang, have previously found dinosaur footprints in areas including Shell Mountain, Zhuqingkou Reservoir, Dalishu village, and Lijia village. This recent discovery further substantiates that a diverse and large population of dinosaurs inhabited the Lufeng region during the Cretaceous period.

Currently, site surveys and related research are ongoing.

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