Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever Found Discovered Near Lyon, France

Date:
October 10, 2009
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
Footprints from sauropod dinosaurs, giant herbivores with long necks, were found in Plagne, near Lyon, France. According to the researchers' initial analysis, these dinosaur footprints are the largest found to date. Furthermore, the tracks spread over dozens and possibly even hundreds of meters.

Plagne site where sauropod dinosaur tracks were discovered. September 2009.
Credit: Copyright CNRS Photothèque/Hubert Raguet

Footprints from sauropod dinosaurs, giant herbivores with long necks, were found in Plagne, near Lyon, France. Discovered by Marie-Hélène Marcaud and Patrice Landry, two nature enthusiasts, the dinosaur footprints have been authenticated by Jean-Michel Mazin and Pierre Hantzpergue, both of the Paléoenvironnements et Paléobiosphères laboratory (CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1).

Related Articles


According to the researchers' initial analyses, these dinosaur footprints are the largest found to date. Furthermore, the tracks spread over dozens and possibly even hundreds of meters. More significant digs will be conducted over the next few years and could result in the Plagne site being one of the largest known dinosaur sites on earth.

Marie-Hélène Marcaud, Patrice Landry and other members of the Société des naturalistes d'Oyonnax (SDNO) have been searching for dinosaur footprints for years. Convinced that the region had a rich paleontological heritage, they focused on potential sites and have been exploring them systematically. The SDNO is thus responsible for a number of discoveries.

It was during one of these outings, on April 5, 2009, that Marie-Hélène Marcaud and Patrice Landry discovered the extraordinary footprints at Plagne. They contacted Jean-Michel Mazin and Pierre Hantzpergue, of the Paléoenvironnements et Paléobiosphères laboratory (CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1). The researchers authenticated the footprints based on morphological criteria and the sediment containing them. They believe that the Plagne site was along a route used by sauropod dinosaurs.

The dinosaur footprints in Plagne are circular depressions surrounded by a fold of limestone sediment. These depressions are very large, up to 1.50 m in total diameter, suggesting that the animals were larger than 40 tonnes and 25 meters in length. The limestone dates to the Tithonian stage (Upper Jurassic, -150MY), a period during which the area was covered by a warm and shallow sea. The discovery of these footprints shows that sauropods moved around during a phase of emersion of the area, when sea levels were low.

The Plagne site is exceptional, both for the size of the prints and the number of tracks which can be seen and those potentially left to discover. Geological studies and digs of such a large surface area require significant technical and human resources over several years. This work will benefit from the presence of teams from the CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 laboratory, as well as from SDNO.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CNRS. "Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever Found Discovered Near Lyon, France." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009132928.htm>.
CNRS. (2009, October 10). Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever Found Discovered Near Lyon, France. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009132928.htm
CNRS. "Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever Found Discovered Near Lyon, France." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009132928.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins