Over 1,000 dinosaur footprints discovered in small town in just 10 days

More than 1,000 dinosaur footprints have been discovered by scientists in a small town in northern Chile in just under two weeks.

The small town of Huatacondo now has the highest concentration of dinosaur footprints in the entire country, ADN Radio Chile reported.

Dinosaur footprints can tell a lot to paleontologists. Footprints reveal something about the dinosaurs that left them that fossilized bones can’t: their behavior. Additionally, the fossils reveal information about the environment and climate of the time and region in which these dinosaurs lived.

For one thing, the conditions required for the footprints to fossilize are very specific, meaning researchers can infer many details just because the casts exist in the first place.

dinosaur print
Researchers have found more than 1,000 “incredible and unique” dinosaur footprints in a small Chilean town. The photo above shows an example of a fossilized dinosaur footprint.
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The Huatacondo community had initially compiled observations of dinosaur footprints, leading the team from the School of Geology at the Universidad Mayor de Santiago to come to investigate.

Between May 23 and June 3, paleontologists found more than 1,000 footprints of newborn, juvenile and adult sauropods (quadrupedal dinosaurs such as Diplodocus) and theropods (a large group of bipedal dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus rex and velociraptors) over an area of ​​11.5 square miles, some as old as 150 million years. This would place the dinosaurs as living at the end of the Jurassic.

The footprints ranged in size from 30 to 40 inches long, leading scientists to estimate that proportionally the dinosaurs that left them millions of years ago must have been up to 40 feet long.

“It’s something really unheard of in my professional experience, incredible. In 10 days we found over a thousand prints… We know there’s huge potential here and that’s the start of a major project,” said chief geologist Christian Salazar. told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Researchers hope these new findings will tell them more about how the climate changed over time, millions of years ago.

“It gives us the opportunity to make climatic interpretations…to determine seasonality because here we have very well marked cycles,” said Salazar, a researcher at the Universidad Mayor de Santiago. “We need to keep collecting information, collecting data, adding to what we’ve already collected.”

Their findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Chile has no previous record of this magnitude, of more than a thousand dinosaur footprints. This is the start of a great project of everything we need to work on and solve,” Salazar said. to DNA.

“This is prospecting ground for the future. We have already taken a series of data which will start little by little and move forward in this investigation which has opened a giant window for us.”

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