Fossils of diverse dinosaur footprints found in east China

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-20 11:42:20|Editor: Chengcheng
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JINAN, June 20 (Xinhua) -- An international archeological expedition has discovered a site with fossils containing diverse dinosaur tracks in east China's Shandong Province, although no body fossils have been found.

The team consisting of experts from China, the United States and Australia discovered that more than 300 footprints were left by a large group of dinosaurs during the Cretaceous Period some 120 million years ago.

Xing Lida, with the Chinese University of Geosciences and lead writer on the paper about the discovery, said from the tracks, they can see seven types of dinosaurs roamed at low-altitude on Maling Mountain, including carnivorous dinosaurs like three-toed medium-sized theropod and deinonychus, and herbivores like gryponyx as well as some avian species.

"The discovery of the dinosaur footprints was shocking, as no dinosaur skeletons have been found in this area before," said Wang Xiaoli, head of the Institute of Geology and Paleontology at Linyi University, Shandong Province.

The most exciting discovery at the site was four parallel tracks left by two-toe deinonychus dinosaurs. This suggested that the dinosaurs, which were previously thought to be solitary, lived in groups.

There are also 70 parallel tracks left by small deinonychus dinosaurs.

The site in Tancheng County was first discovered by Chinese dinosaur fan Tang Yonggang in 2015. The paper on the research was published in the latest issue of Cretaceous Research, a journal issued by the publisher Elsevier.