One of the largest ever dinosaur footprints has been found by a joint expedition of Japanese and Mongolian researchers in the Gobi desert.
The giant print measures 106cm (42in) long and 77cm (30in) wide, according toAFP. It is thought to have belonged to a titanosaur, a group of giant, long-necked herbivores. Researchers said the creature may have been more than 30 meters (98ft) long and 20 meters (66ft) tall.
The print was discovered in August in a geologic layer formed between 70m and 90m years ago by researchers from Okayama University of Science and the Mongolian Academy of Science.
“This is a very rare discovery as it’s a well-preserved fossil footprint that is more than a metre long with imprints of its claws,” a statement from Okayama University of Science read, according to AFP.
The team is searching the area for the dinosaur’s remains, Shinobu Ishigaki, a paleontology professor at Okayama University, told Japan Times. A surreal photo of Ishigaki on the ground next to the print shows it is larger than half his size.
The print is a cast from sand that flowed into dents left by the creature’s enormous footprint. Its discovery could help scientists understand how titanosaurs walked.
In 2014, a titanosaur skeleton was discovered in Argentina and was dubbed thelargest dinosaur ever discovered. A replica of the dinosaur, which has yet to be named, is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It weighed about 70 tons and its skeleton is 37 meters (122ft) long.