Customer Finds 100 Million-Year-Old Footprints Belonging to World’s Largest Dinosaur Species At a Restaurant in China!

Picture of a dinosaur track found at the restaurant.

(Lida Xing (facebook.com/xinglida))

Imagine walking into a restaurant in search of something delicious, only to find dinosaur footprints dating back to the Cretaceous! Believe it or not, that’s precisely what happened with a palaeontology-enthusiast in China earlier this month.

On July 10, Ou Hongtao visited a restaurant in Leshan (based in China’s Sichuan province) as per usual, when his eyes caught something quite unusual. In the yard of the restaurant, he spotted “special teeth” on the ground that looked very much like dinosaur footprints to him.

His assumptions were soon confirmed by a team headed by Dr Lida Xing, a palaeontologist and associate professor at the China University of Geosciences.

Using a 3D scanner, the team was able to deduce that the prints were left behind by two brontosauruses, a genus of gigantic quadruped sauropod dinosaurs. They roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous period that lasted from about 145 to 66 million years ago, at a time when dinosaurs flourished around the globe.

These dinos, which had four thick legs and an extremely long neck, are believed to be among the largest land animals to have ever existed! They were 122 feet long and an estimated 70 tons heavy, extending the length of three buses and weighing as much as 10 African elephants.

This discovery was made just 5 kilometers from the Giant Buddha of Leshan — the world’s largest stone Buddha statue that’s carved out of a cliff of red sandstone. In fact, the 8-metre-long footprints were found preserved in sediment similar to what was used to create the statue.

What makes this find even more incredible is its rarity — in China, the field of palaeontology is being hammered by the country’s rapid development, with construction projects increasingly destroying countless fossils.

It was sheer luck that kept these footprints intact. Prior to the restaurant, the site was home to a chicken farm where sand and dirt possibly helped protect the prints.

And once the restaurant owner took over, his preference for a natural stone look was the sole reason why he decided not to cover the ground with cement and unknowingly bury the prints with it. Quite fascinating, isn’t it?

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