Archaeologists have discovered one of the largest ever dinosaur footprints in the Gobi desert. The print is thought to have belonged to a titanosaur.

Professor Shinobu Ishigaki of the Okayama University of Science lies next to the footprint in the Gobi desert.
Image credits Japan Times.

The print was discovered this August in the Gobi desert by a joint Japanese-Mongolian team. Measuring in at 106cm (42in) in length and 77cm (30in) in width, according to the AFP, it’s a real monster of a fossil. The team believes the imprint was formed by a titanosaur, a giant, long-necked herbivore which could grow to be over 30 meters (98ft) long and 20 meters (66ft) tall.

The imprint was formed in a Cretaceous layer, deposited between 70 and 90 million years ago, most likely by sand rapidly filling a mold left by the dinosaur‘s passing. The team is very excited about the find, hoping that it will give insight into how titanosaurs walked — footprints have been used before to glimpse into dinosaurs’ way of life.

“This is a very rare discovery as it’s a well-preserved fossil footprint that is more than a metre long with imprints of its claws,” a statement from Okayama University of Science read, according to AFP.

The researchers from Okayama University of Science and the Mongolian Academy of Science are now searching for the dinosaur’s remains, said OkUni paleontology professor Shinobu Ishigaki for the Japan Times. The only known specimen up to now was found in Argentina in 2014. Weighing a hefty 70 tons and being 37 meters (122ft) long, it was dubbed the largest dinosaur ever discovered. A replica of the beast is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

 

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