The rare 100 million-year-old dinosaur footprint was discovered under a table at a restaurant in Leshan, Sichuan province, by a customer named Ou Hongtao. A team of experts led by Dr Lida Xing visited the property, and the footprints were confirmed to be those of two sauropod species.
A 100 million-year-old dinosaur footprint was discovered under a table by one man’s keen eyes. The incident occurred in a restaurant courtyard in southwest China.
If you need an excuse to head out to brunch this weekend, consider the possibility that your meal may cause you to expand scientific discovery and research.— MU-Peter Shimon 🀄 (@MU_Peter) July 23, 2022
A diner discovered 100 million-year-old dinosaur footprint in a restauranthttps://t.co/4hyFOBHvtN pic.twitter.com/CCvEsaK8ag
A customer, Ou Hongtao, discovered the footprints at a property in Leshan, Sichuan Province. Soon after, a team of experts led by Dr. Lida Xing arrived at the site and confirmed the footprints with a 3D scanner.
The footprints belonged to two sauropod species, specifically brontosauruses, which were thought to be the largest land animals ever. They were eight meters long and lived between 145 and 66 million years ago. Brontosaurs were known to have extremely long necks and small heads.
In response to the discovery, Xing, a paleontologist and associate professor at the China University of Geosciences, told CNN that it was a “rare” case because city construction has made it difficult for experts to study fossils.
“When we got there, we found that the footprints were very deep and quite obvious,” Xing continued, “but nobody had thought about (the possibility).”
Meanwhile, after discovering the dinosaur footprints, a fence was erected to protect the location as it is. It was a chicken farm before it was turned into a restaurant. Experts believe the layers of dirt and sand in the area at the time protected the footprints from erosion and other weather damage.
The dirt was removed after the restaurant was built, but the owner kept the uneven stone ground because he liked the look of it.