Archaeological Discoveries
in 2001
Archaeological Discoveries
in 2000
Top Ten Archaeological Finds
for 1999
Archaeological Discoveries
in 1999

Fossil of Dinosaur Footmarks Found in Inner Mongolia

  China, for the first time, has discovered footmarks of saurian-foot herbivorous dinosaurs in the Zhabu area of Ih Ju League in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Also found were footmarks of carnivore dinosaurs. This is the first time the footmarks of these two kinds of dinosaurs have been found in the same spot.

  Experts said that dinosaur footmarks in Zhabu cover hundreds of square km. Along the river banks, or on the river bed in the desert, experts found the fossilized footprints of saurian-foot dinosaurs. The stratum was formed in the Cretaceous period, about 130 million years ago.

  The saurian-foot dinosaur footmarks are round in shape, with diameters ranging from 30 to 90 cm. One of them measured 30 cm long, with one step covering 2.8 meters. According to calculation, the dinosaur is the fastest one discovered to date, capable of reaching a speed of 41 kph.

  Experts have long accepted that herbivorous dinosaurs lived near water or swampland, where they could readily obtain enough food, while the carnivore dinosaurs had to prey on the herbivorous dinosaurs for food. While the latter could escape to the water, the former wandered up and down along the bank, consequently leaving a large number of footmarks.

  Experts say the presence of dinosaur footprints, bird footmarks and fossils of other living things found in the Zhabu area demonstrated it was once a place much frequented by dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period.

  A favorable ecological environment, the layer of lakes and swamps and well-distributed sand and earth provide important conditions for the formation and preservation of dinosaur footmarks. Their study is of great value to establishing the condition of the ancient ecological environment in the area.