Brazil’s geological service has announced the discovery of a new dinosaur species. The dinosaur, named Farlowichnus rapidus, was a small carnivorous animal that lived in the desert during the early Cretaceous period. The researchers estimate that it was about the size of a modern-day seriema bird, standing at 60-90 cm (2-3 feet) tall. The discovery was published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research. According to the geological service, the large distance between the footprints suggests that the dinosaur was a very fast reptile that ran across the ancient dunes.
The fossilized dinosaur footprints were first found in the 1980s by Italian paleontologist Giuseppe Leonardi in what is now the city of Araraquara, in Sao Paulo state. One of the footprint samples was donated to Brazil’s Museum of Earth Sciences (MCTer) in 1984. MCTer paleontologist Rafael Costa stated that the footprints are different from all other known dinosaur footprints.
The discovery provides valuable insight into the biodiversity and ecosystems of the early Cretaceous period, which stretched from 100 to 145 million years ago. This new species adds to the growing body of knowledge about the diverse range of dinosaurs that once inhabited the earth.