Back in 1998, scientists from the University of Kansas unearthed a gigantic fossilized dinosaur foot in the Black Hills of Wyoming. Nicknamed "Bigfoot" at the time, it's now been officially certified as the largest dinosaur foot ever found.
Measuring almost one meter wide (3.3 ft), the foot has been identified as being that of a brachiosaur – not surprisingly, Brachiosaurus is considered to be one of the largest land animals to ever live. Although fossilized skeletons and footprints from presumably even larger brachiosaurs have been found in Australia and Argentina, the skeletons lacked the feet.
Utilizing techniques including 3D scanning, an international team of scientists recently made precise measurements of the Bigfoot specimen, and confirmed that it is the world's largest known dinosaur foot. The plant-eating animal it came from lived approximately 150 million years ago, and stood approximately 4 meters high (13.1 ft) at its hip – although its long neck would have extended considerably higher.
The finding also confirms that brachiosaurs once inhabited a large area of the present-day US, extending from eastern Utah to northwestern Wyoming. This is a considerably larger range than was once thought.
Led by Anthony Maltese – who was a member of the original University of Kansas excavation team, but now works at Colorado's Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center – the research is described in a paper that was recently published in the journal PeerJ.
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