Dong Zhiming, a professor known as China's dinosaur king, said:
"The site not only adds the first record of dinosaur footprint fossils in Xinjiang, but it is the largest Middle Jurassic dinosaur footprint fossil finding ever unearthed in China."
Little fossilized evidence of Middle Jurassic dinosaurs has been found anywhere in the world. Fossils were only excavated in the southwestern provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan, and until now, no fossilized footprints have been discovered in the country. The tracks were accidentally discovered by experts of the Sino-German Joint Group on Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleontology last September, but they were unable to proceed with their excavation until the severe winter had passed. Experts are now wondering how to protect this find. Local authorities in Xinjiang have built roofs and protective siding to prevent weathering and erosion.
The government is also preparing to set up facilities that will give dinosaur enthusiasts from around the world a chance to get a good look at the footprints.
(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2008)