110 million years ago a baby stegosaurus left footprints in the Tugulu Group, in China’s Xinjiang province. The footprint is only 15% of the length of the Deltapodus curriei type from the same locality. It belongs to the Deltapodus ichnogenus and it coexists with the footprints of larger individuals.
“This footprint was made by an armored herbivorous dinosaur widely known as the stegosaurus, the family of dinosaurs that includes the famous Stegosaurus,” says Anthony Romilio, a paleontologist at the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland and co-author of the work published by the journal. Palaios. “Like the Stegosaurus, this little dinosaur probably had spikes on its tail and bony plates along its back as an adult.”
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At just 6 centimeters, it is the smallest footprint of a stegosaurus ever found. By comparison, adult stegosaurus footprints are of a completely different size, for in the age of dinosaurs, some of the largest living things to ever exist on the face of the Earth left gigantic footprints as they moved along. his step. Among those tracks, there are also more modest in size, like this stegosaurus the size of a house cat.
The international team of paleontologists say this indicates that the dinosaur was likely surrounded by older and fully developed relatives.
“It is in sharp contrast to other stegosaurus tracks found at this site, which measured up to 30 centimeters, and tracks found in places like Broome in Western Australia, where they may have up to 80 centimeters“, clarifies Romilio, in a statement.