#Discovery #Dinosaur – Profile: Dinosaur discovery : THE discovery of one of the biggest dinosaur footprints ever recorded has raised hopes that a massive skeleton may be uncovered. Measuring over a metre in length, the giant fossil has been found in the Gobi Desert by a team of Japanese and Mongolian paleontologists.
The enormous footstep, which measures 77cm wide and 106cm long, dates back over 70 million years to the late Cretaceous period. It is believed to have been made by a Titanosaur, the real giants of the dinosaurs, whose footsteps would have literally shaken the ground.
The Gobi Desert footprint is so big the scientists believe the creature that made it could have been 20 metres tall and more than 30 metres long. “This is a very rare discovery as it’s a well-preserved fossil footprint that is more than a metre long with imprints of its claws,” said a statement from Okayama University of Science.
Professor Shinobu Ishigaki said he was now hopeful that bones could be found. “A whole skeleton of a giant dinosaur that left such a massive footprint has yet to be uncovered in Mongolia,” he said. “A fossilised skeleton of such a dinosaur is expected to be eventually discovered.”
HAS A SKELETON EVER BEEN FOUND?
THE find may shed light on intriguing questions such as how a creature that weighed around 70 tonnes could move around. It is thought that Titanosaur’s walked on tiptoe to reduce the chance of leg fractures because of their extreme weight.
These herbivores lived during the final years of the Mesozoic Era and the largest ever discovered was found two years ago in Argentina. A whopping 37 metres long, it would have weighed around 70 tonnes and its skeleton was buried in southern Patagonia until a farmer looking for his lost sheep found them perched on an odd-looking, rocky ledge.