|Image by Murray Foubister [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons|
The footprint measures about 1.2 meters (4 ft) wide and is believed to have been created by a biped, meat-eating predator Abelisaurus that roamed South America about 80 million years ago.
The footprint was found earlier this month in a soft clay ground area in Kinsa Saruska in Maragua region. This area is located about 40 miles from the city of Sucre in central Bolivia, and is well known for dinosaur tracks. Many skeletal remains of dinosaurs have already been found in this area.
According to experts, abelisaurus existed during the Late Cretaceous Period, and probably reached 7 to 9 meters (23 to 30 feet) in length. Skeletal of an abelisaurus was first discovered by Argentine paleontologists Fernando E Novas and José F Bonaparte in 1985. Later a complete skull of abelisaurus was discovered in Río Negro, Argentina, which led experts to conclude that the dinosaur belonged to a new family of predators. This skull lacked the lower jaws, and most of the connections between the back of the skull and the snout were absent. As only the skull was found, it became difficult for experts to provide a reliable size estimate of Abelisaurus. The length of this creature was estimated to be as low as seven meters. In 2010, Gregory S. Paul, a paleontologist, estimated the body length of Abelisaurus at ten meters and its weight at three tonnes.
According to experts, the footprint found in Bolivia is one of the largest of its kind ever found in this region. "This print is bigger than any other we have found to date in the area" said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the footprint. "It is a record in size for carnivorous dinosaurs from the end of the Cretaceous period in South America" he added.
Author: Devender Kundaliya