Dinosaur Footprints Found in China
More than 4,300 dinosaur footprints have been discovered in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province, the most such markings found in one spot in the country, according to the Department of Natural Resources of Hebei, which recently disclosed related survey results.
The footprints are located on fine, pebbly sandstone that dates back 150 million years and was covered by thick volcanic ash, providing good conditions for the preservation of the footprints.
"It can be inferred that the footprints belong to an era around the Jurassic and the Cretaceous, when there were large forests and water sources here," said Sun Xiao, a chief engineer at the Regional Geological Survey Institute affiliated with Hebei Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Exploration, quoted by Hebei Daily.
From the footprints, scientists can determine how dinosaurs walked, calculate their length, weight and size, and even estimate their walking speed.
"Dinosaur bones become fossils after their death, while dinosaur footprints are left from when they were alive, which provide wonderful insights into how dinosaurs lived. They can provide a lot of information about their behavior, as well as information on paleogeography and paleoenvironment. Therefore, dinosaur footprints play an irreplaceable role," said Li Jianjun, a researcher from the Beijing Museum of Natural History.