Scientists have found possibly the footprint of largest dinosaur ever, in Mongolia. The footprint measures over one meter in length and 0.77 m in width which is wider than a Human Torso. This is the first well-preserved footprint to be discovered.
The footprint is believed to have been 70 to 90 million years old. According to researchers from the Okayama University of Science who worked alongside Mongolian researchers, the footprint is a cast and not an indentation. That is a one of the prime reason for its well-preserved state.
The Imprint was formed in a Cretaceous layer most likely by sand rapidly filling a mold left by a passing dinosaur. The team is now searching the nearby areas for dinosaur remains, said, Shinobu Ishigaki, according to the Japan Times.
The footprints that are of largest dinosaur ever, are believed to have been made by a dinosaur called Titanosaur. Titanosaurs were herbivore creatures found some 70-90 million years ago in the pre-historic era. The Titanosaurs were roughly 90 feet across and 60 feet in height.
Titanosaurs are named after Greek deities named titans. These Dinosaurs possessed the largest necks among all the dinosaurs known to man. Titanosaurs belonged to a group of dinosaurs called Sauropods. Sauropods are long neck giant beasts, herbivorous in nature.
This is not the first discovery of Titanosaurs. Recently Russian Scientists have also discovered yet unidentified fossil remains from the Kemerovo region of Siberia. In Morocco and France, researchers have found similar footprints. The only difference being, the present one is well preserved and possibly the footprint of largest dinosaur ever.
“The footprint is one of the biggest known footprints in the world,” said Shinobu Ishigaki. He further added, “The footprint is well preserved with three clear claw marks.”
Paleontologists have found Titanosaur remains in every continent. In 2014, a farmer in Argentina had found an eight-foot thigh bone on his farm. Dr. Diego Pol and his colleagues from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio in Argentina had concluded that Titanosaurs were the largest dinosaur ever to walk the face of the earth, as reported in The Guardian.
Titanosaurs weighed as much as 15 African elephants, the largest ever living animal known to man. Titanosaur used its four column-like legs to sustain the incredible weight. These Dinosaurs reduced their toes into forelimbs, forcing them to walk on horseshoe-shaped stumps of reduced metacarpal bones.
It is surprising to know that babies of possibly the largest dinosaur ever weighed the same as human babies at the time of birth. They had a very fast pace of growth and would turn into the size of a large dog weighing approximately 30 KGS within a few weeks of birth. Titanosaur babies required 20 years to become a full grown dinosaur.
Scientists have been searching for dinosaur prints in Mongolia since 1957, post-discovery of the dinosaur tracks in the Gobi Desert. Gobi is considered the epicenter of fossilized footprints. More than 20,000 preserved tracks have been found between 1995 and 2008.
World's largest dinosaur footprint discovered in Mongolia's Gobi Desert https://t.co/GVZMULKIUa— Telegraph Science (@TelegraphSci) October 4, 2016
Professor Ishigaki said, “A whole skeleton of a giant dinosaur that left such a massive footprint has yet to be uncovered in Mongolia.” A fossilized skeleton of such a dinosaur is expected to be eventually discovered, as reported in Telegraph.
What makes this footprint of largest dinosaur ever so special, is the scale and quality of the footprint. There is a lot of information that can be obtained just from the footprints. The shape of the largest ever dinosaur and how it walked can be determined from these prints.
There are several questions with regard to the large beast. How did Titanosaurs eat, how did they walk on tiptoes? How did they reproduce? There are a lot of unanswered questions. One can only hope with a few more discoveries paleontologists will understand and maybe answer a few questions about possibly the largest dinosaur ever known to mankind.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]