(ORDO NEWS) — The traces were preserved by pure chance: the owner of the establishment liked how the raw stone looked and fit into the interior.
Typically, paleontologists find dinosaur fossils in sparsely populated and remote regions. However, on July 10 of this year, Ou Hongtao, a resident of the million-plus city of Leshan in south-central China’s Sichuan province, made an important discovery by accident: in the courtyard of one of the local restaurants where he had lunch, a man saw more than ten dinosaur footprints from the Jiaguan Formation of the early Cretaceous period. .
As noted in a Global Times article , this is the first evidence of the existence of “ancient lizards” within the borders of Leshan itself (by the way, just five kilometers from the world’s largest stone statue of a seated Buddha).
Lida Xing, associate professor at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, and Peng Guangzhao from the Zigong Dinosaur Museum, based on 3D modeling and other methods of analysis, confirmed that the deep impressions found in the courtyard of the restaurant were left by two sauropod brontosaurs – giants with very long necks and tails, but small in comparison with the body, heads and legs, resembling pillars.
Approximately 100 million years ago, these sauropods lived along the banks of the river, while the rest of the territory of modern Sichuan experienced a period of drought.
Now part of the courtyard of the restaurant has been fenced off, and the tracks and the surrounding area will continue to be carefully studied. In general, they were preserved only thanks to the owner of the establishment – he liked the look of the raw stone, so the floor was not subjected to any serious alterations.
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