100-mln-year-old dinosaur footprint fossils discovered in east China

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-01 19:37:41|Editor: An
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HANGZHOU, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese paleontologists have announced that they have discovered a group of nearly 100-million-year-old fossils of dinosaur footprints in southeastern China's Zhejiang Province.

The fossils scattered on a hill in Yiwu city are believed to be the largest group of fossilized dinosaur footprints in southeast China, according to researchers with Zhejiang Museum of Natural History.

They were first spotted in 2007, and researchers started surveying them in 2014. So far, more than 80 footprints have been found.

The footprints dating back to the early late cretaceous period belong to theropods, sauropods, pterosaurs and other dinosaurs, according to Jin Xingsheng, deputy curator of the museum.

The footprints of theropods are mostly less than 20 centimeters long, while those of sauropods can be as long as one meter. The most interesting finding was a pterosaur footprint upon a sauropod footprint.

Most of the footprints are single. However, some of the ornithopods were in pairs, showing the dinosaur walking.

The dinosaur footprint fossils contain information that skeleton fossils cannot show and can help with research on biodiversity and biological migration and behavior, as well as the evolution of ancient creatures, Jin said, adding that the site could be developed into a science visitor base.