Huge dinosaur footprint discovered in South America

Source: CNN
By Jareen Imam, CNN

(CNN)There’s a good chance that if flesh-eating dinosaurs were still around today, we wouldn’t just have to worry about their sharp teeth.

Scientists recently uncovered a record-setting footprint in Bolivia. It is the biggest print from a carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered worldwide.
Until now, the largest track from a meat-eating dinosaur measured at 110 centimeters and was discovered in New Mexico, according to paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia.
Grover Marquina, a tour guide, was trekking through the Maragua Crater about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Sucre when he stumbled upon the fossilized footprint on July 19. The indentation exceeds 115 centimeters — nearly 4 feet wide — Apesteguia told CNN.

Normally, these types of prints are between 85 to 100 centimeters, he said.
Apesteguia, a scientist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, explained that the likely owner of the footprint belonged to a large dinosaur species, possibly a creature that was a part of the Abelisaurus genus.
Predatory creatures in the Abelisaurus family were two-legged beasts that lived about 70 million years ago. With a powerful jaw, 40-foot stature and stunted arms, the features of these animals rival the better known and infamous Tyrannosaurus rex, or maybe even an oversized raptor called a Megaraptor — a fierce creature that has been identified in the Patagonia region before.
Apesteguia stands next to the footprint for scale.

Not only does the print set a new record for its size, it also challenges a former belief about the prehistoric creatures that existed in the South America during the Cretaceous period, which is known as the last portion of the “Age of Dinosaurs.”
The discovery of this footprint means that gigantic dinosaurs did live through the latter part of the period, something that has been ignored up until now, Apesteguia said.
Larger dinosaurs were believed to have existed on the continent 100 million years ago, not 70 million years ago, Apesteguia said. For context, scientists believe the apocalyptic asteroid that set in motion the death of the dinosaurs struck Earth about 66 million years ago.

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