Paleontologists Discover Largest Dinosaur Foot Ever

Posted: Jul 26 2018, 2:14am CDT | by , in Latest Science News

 

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Paleontologists Discover Largest Dinosaur Foot Ever
A 1998 photograph with the brachiosaur foot bones. Credit: the KUVP archives

The giant foot belongs to a brachiosaur, a type of sauropod dinosaur that was among the largest land animals on Earth

In 1998, a giant foot was discovered in the Black Hills region of Wyoming. At more than 3 feet long, the foot was one of the biggest ever found. Researchers who analyzed the fossil said it must have belonged to one of the largest animals on Earth and nicknamed it “Bigfoot.”

"It was immediately apparent that the foot, nearly a meter wide, was from an extremely large animal, so the specimen was nicknamed 'Bigfoot.'” Lead author Anthony Maltese, who was part of the 1998 expedition from University of Kansas, said.

After thorough examination over the years, researchers have identified the foot as belonging to a close relative of Brachiosaur, which lived around 150 million years ago. The giant plant-eating dinosaur was a member of sauropod family and had long neck and tail like other plant-eating dinosaurs (Brontosaurus and Diplodocus). When researchers used advanced technology like 3-D scanning and compared the foot of the specimen from those of other numerous dinosaur species, they confirmed that the foot is the largest dinosaur foot discovered to date.

“There are tracks and other incomplete skeletons from Australia and Argentina that seem to be from even bigger animals, but those gigantic skeletons were found without the feet. This beast was clearly one of the biggest that ever walked in North America.” Co-author Emanuel Tschopp said.

The Black Hills region of Wyoming that produced the fossil is a popular tourist attraction today. Finding a saurpod fossil here is a real surprise and also opens a new window for understanding these dinosaurs.

“This is surprising,” said Tschopp. “Many other sauropod dinosaurs seem to have inhabited smaller areas during that time."

Researchers suspect that these rocks outcrops could have many more dinosaur skeletons inside them and they will continue to search for them.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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