Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur from footprints in Brazil

This discovery was published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research. (representational image)

A new type of dinosaur was identified in Brazil after studying footprints found in the city of Araracora. BBC mentioned.

In the 1980s, amid the vast expanse of the Botucatu Formation in Brazil, an Italian priest and paleontologist named Giuseppe Leonardi stumbled upon a remarkable find — a series of dinosaur footprints, which scientists later called “tracks.” These fossilized imprints, preserved in ancient sandstones in the area, provided an exciting glimpse into the past, hinting at the existence of an unknown species of dinosaur.

Driven by curiosity and a passion for paleontology, Leonardi meticulously collected and documented these tracks, ensuring their preservation for future study. In 1984, he generously donated the samples to the Earth Sciences Museum in Brazil, where they awaited further analysis.

Years of careful examination and comparison with existing records of dinosaur footprints revealed a startling fact: these footprints were unlike any previously discovered. Unique characteristics, including long, slender toes and a wide stride, suggest an agile desert-dwelling dinosaur.

In a groundbreaking study published in 2023, a team of scientists led by Leonardi officially named this new species Farlowichnus rapidus, meaning “Farlow’s rapid path.” Based on their analysis, Farlowichnus rapidus was a small, fast carnivore that roamed the barren landscape of early Cretaceous Brazil, about 125 million years ago.

The new species, which they called Farlowichnus rapidus, was a small carnivore about the size of a modern Serima bird, or about 60-90 cm (2-3 feet) long, the researchers said.

The discovery of Farlowichnus rapidus highlights the importance of preserving and carefully studying fossil tracks, as they can provide invaluable insights into the diversity and behavior of ancient dinosaurs. These footprints provide silent testimony to the remarkable adaptations and resilience of life in Earth’s prehistoric past.

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This discovery was published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research.

“From the large distance between the footprints found, it is possible to conclude that it was a very fast reptile that ran across ancient sand dunes,” the Geological Service said in a statement.

The Early Cretaceous period extended from 100 to 145 million years ago.

Rafael Costa, a paleontologist at MCTer, said the footprints differ from all other known dinosaur footprints.

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