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National Geological Park of Dinosaurs to Open in Gansu

A national geological park with dinosaur footprints will open to the public in northwest China's Gansu Province in mid-October, a local government official said.

The park contains 1,724 dinosaur footprints in 150 groups of 10 categories. They have been found on 2,000 square meters of land on the northern bank of Taiji Lake in Yongjing County.

They include the footprints of at least Sauropoda, Theropoda, Ornithomimus, Ornitopoda, Pterosaurus and Coelurosauria. Among these, the footprints of Coelurosauria and Ornitopoda were first discovered on the Chinese territory.

The Liujiaxia National Geological Park of Dinosaurs was built three years ago at the site where dinosaur footprints were discovered in July 1999. Its construction cost an investment of more than 7 million yuan (863,132 US dollars).

These footprint fossils were described by archaeologists as "huge, well preserved and highly distinct." One type of Sauropoda footprint is 1.5 meters long and 1.2 meters wide, the largest of its kind in the park.

China has established 44 national geological parks so far.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2005)

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