Footprints discovered in New Zealand may be dinosaur: scientists

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WELLINGTON. November 7. KAZINFORM Scientists believed they have found 70 million-year-old dinosaur footprints -- the first ever found in New Zealand, Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

The prints are spread over six locations in northwest Nelson in the South Island, with up to 20 at one site, Radio New Zealand reported on Saturday.

    GNS Science sedimentologist Greg Browne has been studying the marks for years and believes they were made by sauropods -- plant-eating dinosaurs with long necks and tails, up to 6 meters in length and weighing several tonnes.

    He said the prints were made in beach sand, then probably quickly covered by mud.

    The footprints also provide the first sign that dinosaurs once roamed the South Island.

    New Zealand paleontologist Joan Wiffen found the first evidence that dinosaurs had inhabited New Zealand after discovering fossil bones in Hawke's Bay in the North Island. However, no bones have yet been found in the South Island.

    Browne has made silicon molds of several of the prints and his paper describing the discovery will appear in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics this week, Kazinform cites Xinhua. See www.chinaview.cn for full version.

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