Wee Footprint of Young Stegosaur was recently found in China, this is considered a rare discovery. However, the footprint of this cute, cat-sized baby from the Cretaceous era was found in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China.
This stegosaur was only 5.7 centimeters long, making it the smallest stegosaur print ever discovered. This was reported by the authors in the journal palacios, March 3rd.
The platform where the small prints were discovered was pock-marked with mighty footprints from stegosaurs. However, there was a tiny back footprint with the differentiating attribute of the three-toed shape of stegosaurs.
There was no certainty of which species the footprint belonged to. Interestingly, the skeletal remains of a class known as Wuerhosaurus homheni have been discovered in the region. This species is recognized just from fragmentary bones.
According to the research co-author, Anthony Ramilio, a researcher in the Dinosaur Lab at the University of Queensland, he stated that the small dinosaur most likely had spikes on its tail and bony plates around its back as an adult, just like the Stegosaurus.
Earlier, perceived little stegosaur footprints were discovered. The controversy surrounding this was the uncertainty of whether they belonged to stegosaur babies.
Tiny tracks have been discovered close to Morrison, Colorado, in rocks from the Jurassic era. The controversy is that not all paleontologists believed that those footprints were fossils.
According to paleontologist Marin Lockley, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and one of the co-researchers on the news article, he argues that the prints are mere parts of irregularly shaped mud formed in sandstone.
Unlike the bigger tracks found at the Xinjiang site, the tiny tracks were not extended. It was fascinating to researchers because there was a possibility that the baby stegosaur did not move like the older counterparts.