Chinese paleontologists on Tuesday announced the discovery of a batch of dinosaur footprints in south China's Guangdong Province.
The fossil footprints were accidentally found by a junior high school student near a construction site in Huaiji County, Zhaoqing City, Guangdong, in July 2021.
A research team led by the China University of Geosciences subsequently came to Huaiji to study the exposed dinosaur footprints and their rock strata and recorded the situation through unmanned aerial vehicles and stereo scanning.
They discovered a total of seven theropod footprints, including two isolated footprints and one well-preserved track, according to a study published in the journal Historical Biology.
Based on the theropod track, researchers then estimated the trackmaker's traveling speed would be 2.57 meters per second, indicating that the trackmaker was trotting at that time, said the study.
As the first record of dinosaur tracks from the Cretaceous Zhagang Group of northwestern Guangdong, the discovery expanded the recorded distribution of Cretaceous dinosaurs in China.
The Cretaceous period, which began 137 million years ago and ended 65 million years ago, was the last time dinosaurs ruled the planet. Fossils from that period offer significant evidence for studying their evolution, living conditions and extinction.