Dinosaur footprints in China

  • IASbaba
  • August 12, 2022
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In news: Scientists have discovered over 4,300 dinosaur footprints in Hebei province of Zhangjiakou in northern China.

  • This is the largest number of footprint fossils found in one spot in the country.
  • The footprints reportedly show four different dinosaur species, one of which might be undiscovered.
  • The footprints were made between the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages, around 150 million years ago.

Dinosaur footprints in China: the discovery and its importance

  • The largest number of dinosaur footprint fossils located in northern China, these cover an area of 9,000 square metres.
  • The report states that the footprints belong to herbivores and carnivores dinosaurs; while the former could reach lengths of nearly 15 metres, the latter was four to five metres.
  • Scientists believe the area may have attracted dinosaurs due to the availability of water and trees at the time.

How did the dinosaur footprints become fossils?

  • Preserved footprints, also known as ichnites, are trace fossils that have survived millions of years.
  • These are found in earthen materials that were soft enough to form the foot impression and hard enough to retain it.
  • Over time, the material dried, hardened, and was covered with layers of sediment, helping the impression become fossilised.
  • In numerous instances, soil erosion is now bringing them to the surface.
  • Dinosaur footprints have been discovered across the world.
  • In India, in 2014, footprints dating back 200-million-years were found in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Source: Indianexpress


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