A tourist guide working in Bolivia has stumbled upon an enormous dinosaur footprint measuring 1.2m wide. Experts say it’s one of the largest prints ever found of a carnivorous dinosaur, and a record for South America.
Footprints of an Abelisaurus have been uncovered in Bolivia. This creature closely resembled the Carnotaurus (pictured above). (Image: Lida Xing and Yi Liu)
The enormous print, located about 64km from the Bolivian city of Sucre, was discovered by tourist guide Grover Marquina earlier this month. The area, known as the Maragua Zone, features soft clay and is known for its dino tracks, as well as fossils.
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According to Sebastian Apesteguia, a palaeontologist studying the print, it likely belonged to an Abelisaurus, a two-legged dinosaur that lived 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. This ancient creature, which rivalled the T. rex in size, measured about 12m in length, and featured an elongated skull and powerful jaw.
An Abelisaurus skull. (Image: Museo Provincial Carlos Ameghino, Cipolletti, Argentina/Christophe Hendrickx)
“It’s a record, not only in size according to carnivorous dinosaurs footprints, but also a record size for carnivorous dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous in South America,” Apesteguia told el Mundo. And as palaeontologist Omar Media told EFE, it’s one of the largest footprints of this species ever found anywhere in the world.