The Dinosaur That Left This Record-Setting Footprint Was an Absolute Beast

Footprints of an Abelisaurus have been uncovered in Bolivia. This creature closely resembled the Carnotaurus (pictured above). (Image: Lida Xing and Yi Liu)

A tourist guide working in Bolivia has stumbled upon an enormous dinosaur footprint measuring nearly four feet wide. Experts say it’s one of the largest prints ever found of a carnivorous dinosaur, and a record for South America.

The enormous print, located about 40 miles from the Bolivian city of Sucre, was discovered by tourist guide Grover Marquina earlier this month. The area, known as the Maragua Zone, features soft clay and is known for its dino tracks, as well as fossils.


According to Sebastian Apesteguia, a paleontologist studying the print, it likely belonged to an Abelisaurus, a two-legged dinosaur that lived 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. This ancient creature, which rivaled the T. rex in size, measured about 40 feet (12 meters) in length, and featured an elongated skull and powerful jaw.

An Abelisaurus skull. (Image: Museo Provincial Carlos Ameghino, Cipolletti, Argentina/Christophe Hendrickx)

“It’s a record, not only in size according to carnivorous dinosaurs footprints, but also a record size for carnivorous dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous in South America,” Apesteguia told el Mundo. And as paleontologist Omar Media told EFE, it’s one of the largest footprints of this species ever found anywhere in the world.


[Reuters, EFE, el Mundo]

George is a senior staff reporter at Gizmodo.

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