A tourist guide working in Bolivia has stumbled upon an enormous dinosaur footprint measuring nearly 1.2 metres wide. Experts say it’s one of the largest prints ever found of a carnivorous dinosaur, and a record for South America.
The enormous print, located about 40 miles from the Bolivian city of Sucre, was discovered by tourist guide Grover Marquina earlier this month. The area, known as the Maragua Zone, features soft clay and is known for its dino tracks, as well as fossils.
— Federico Kukso (@fedkukso) July 25, 2016
According to Sebastian Apesteguia, a palaeontologist studying the print, it likely belonged to an Abelisaurus, a two-legged dinosaur that lived 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. This ancient creature, which rival;ed the T. rex in size, measured about 40 feet (12 metres) in length, and featured an elongated skull and powerful jaw.
An Abelisaurus skull. (Image: Museo Provincial Carlos Ameghino, Cipolletti, Argentina/Christophe Hendrickx)
“It’s a record, not only in size according to carnivorous dinosaurs footprints, but also a record size for carnivorous dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous in South America,” Apesteguia told el Mundo. And as palaeontologist Omar Media told EFE, it’s one of the largest footprints of this species ever found anywhere in the world. [Reuters, EFE, el Mundo]