Imagine going out to a beautiful meal and then noticing something odd in the courtyard of your restaurant. The Washington Post reported that this is what occurred to an unwary diner in China.
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100 million year old impressions
Chinese paleontologists were called in to investigate after a patron saw unusual footprints on the restaurant floor. They discovered that the depressions had actually been made by two dinosaurs some 100 million years ago.
The researchers came to the additional conclusion that sauropods formed the tracks. The Washington Post was informed that the impressions were most likely made by the species Titanosauriformes by Lida Xing, the team’s leader and a paleontologist at the China University of Geosciences.
While dinosaur tracks are not uncommon in the Sichuan Basin, they are extremely uncommon to be discovered in urban restaurants, according to Xing. “Cement or plants cover the city’s ground the majority of the time.”
On Saturday, Xing’s group used a 3D scanner to further corroborate the discovery. They estimated that the archaic mammals had a body length of roughly 8 meters (26 ft).
Prospective sites visited within 24 hours
As part of their process, the researchers investigate prospective discovery sites 48 hours after getting a report because they are concerned that they “may get destroyed by construction work in days.”
Before it was a restaurant, the site was a chicken farm, which provided layers of earth and sand to cover the prints and protect them from erosion and weather damage. As a result, these particular footprints were beautifully preserved
Only a year ago was all the dirt cleared away, revealing the immaculate footsteps beneath. Fortunately, the owner of the restaurant preferred the appearance of the natural floor and did not fill it with cement, which would have permanently erased the impressions.
The restaurant owner did not see well in the discovery, though. She was concerned that the discovery might have an impact on her business, which provided home-cooked meals based on regional cuisine. She later changed her mind and welcomed the media attention, which would encourage more people to come to her restaurant. She even started cooking certain meals to celebrate the discovery.
She was first worried that she would draw plenty of interested visitors and influence the restaurant’s regular patrons, according to Xing. But now that she is aware of the change, she is prepared to provide some sweets decorated with dinosaur tracks.
A Jurassic aquatic world was only recently found in England.