Photo: Ichnites in Spain
Experts confirm that a site in the northern Spanish province of Burgos is a “mega-trove” of fossilized dinosaur footprints from a species unknown anywhere else in the world.
The scientific director of the Las Sereas site, Fidel Torcida, said the principal rarity of these fossilized footprints - known as ichnites - is that they show four toes in front that are not curved, unlike all others that have been documented around the world.
The prints were made by a sauropod, or “lizard-hipped” dinosaur.
Last year a footprint of these characteristics was found, but this year’s campaign discovered a trail 17 meters (55.7 feet) long with 45 footprints, confirming the frequent presence of the dinosaur in that area some 144 million years ago.
Torcida said that such a long trail of footprints will permit a better study of the movements of these herbivorous dinosaurs, which weighed several tons and whose hind legs measured some 3 meters (10 feet) long, with footprints in some cases longer than 55 centimeters (21.6 inches).
Torcida said the experts recorded some 800 footprints in the four points of the complex where they have been working and said they are sure to find more than a thousand, though there remain another 10 points of the site where they also know there are footprints.