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Over 3,000 dinosaur footprints found in China

world Updated: Feb 07, 2010 11:26 IST

IANS
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Archaeologists in China claim to have traced the evidence of mass migration of dinosaurs from the country's east more than 100 million years ago.

The large track of over 3,000 dinosaur footprints, which was found in Shandong province, was facing the same direction. This might be a result of migration or panic escape by plant-eating dinosaurs after facing a surprise raid from meat-eating counterparts, according to experts.

The prints dated back to more than 100 million years ago in the mid Cretaceous period, said Xing Lida, a dinosaur footprints researcher, and Wang Haijun, a senior engineer at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The fossil, found on a 2,600-square-meter slope in Huanghua town of Zhucheng City, is in at least three layers. The footprints were rare in the world in terms of both their number and total size, they said.

Scientists believe that the footprints, which range from 10 cm to 80 cm in length, belonged to more than six types of dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus, Coelurosaurs and Hadrosaurs, Xinhua reported.

Wang said as excavation continues, there could be more footprint findings. Archeologists have found dinosaur fossils in some 30 sites in Zhucheng, known as a "dinosaur city".