Giant footprint 'could shed light on titanosaurus behaviours'
Updated: Apr 10
Mongolian-Japanese research team led by Dr. Kh. Tsogtbaatar, director of the Institute of Paleontology and Geology, discovered the largest dinosaur footprint in Mongolia, the third largest in the world.
The site was discovered on July 31, 1995 by Mongolian Japanese researchers and a joint expedition conducted active field research in 1996, revealing over 2800 prints of dinosaurs. Later detailed researches in 2001 and 2010 detected over 18000 footprints and tracks of 4-5 types of herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs. Therefore, it is a unique paleontological heritage site proving that dinosaurs lived in groups.
A protective facility and footbridges have been built over the main findings to protect the footprints from sunshine, winds, and from human improper actions, as dinosaur print is a brittle paleontological finding.
Shinobu Ishigaki, professor of palaeontology at Okayama University told
"Firstly, it shows us the posture of the dinosaur-that it has a broad track way. If we continue to excavate more, we'll be able to find out more about how its walking style was like," The print formed when the dinosaur walked in what was once soft ground, he said.
The titanosaurus were a diverse group of giant, long-necked herbivores. They are thought to have been more than 30 meters (98ft) long and 20 meters tall.
Three other footprints belonging to different species of dinosaurs were also found at the site. Prof Shinobu Ishigaki said this might show us "social behaviours, because three other footprints were found walking in the same direction but they don't belong to the same species of animal," he said.
The footprints may also enable researchers to calculate the speed of the dinosaurs' movements.
This site is now one of the tourist most attracted place in the GOBI.