Giant Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Argentina

A yoga instructor practising some exercises has discovered the fossilised footprints of  giant Sauropods (long-necked dinosaurs) in southern Argentina.  The footprints, which scientists have stated represent herbivorous dinosaurs that lived 90 million years ago (Cenomanian faunal stage of the Cretaceous), were found at Los Barreales in Neuquen province, an area which is well known for its Cretaceous aged dinosaur fossils.

The dinosaur footprints measure up to 1.2 metres in diameter and scientists are hopeful that the trackways will help them to learn more about the locomotion of these huge plant-eaters.  Jorge Calvo of the National University of Comahue commented that the footprints were in an excellent condition of preservation and that the tracks probably represented different sized individuals walking in the same direction.  It can be assumed that this is evidence of herding behaviour with these large dinosaurs moving around in herds, just like many large, extant herbivores such as elephants do today.

This part of Argentina is considered to be one of the most important palaeontological sites in South America.  A region where in 1993 remains were found of the Giganotosaurus carolinii, one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs known from the fossil record.  Although Giganotosaurus fossil material is known from older rock strata, if large meat-eating dinosaurs in excess of 13 metres in length were roaming this part of South America 90 million years ago, living in a social, herd would have been a good strategy for survival.

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