Rarer than pterodactyl footprints…

Times of India reports that they’ve just found some pterosaur footprints in north India’s Jaisalmer Basin:

“Near the Thaiyat Village on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur highway there is an outcrop of Jurassic rocks. Careful geological observation by the team allowed them to interpret ancient environments in which these rocks (once soft sediments) were deposited. We can imagine a vast coastal zone on which the Jurassic sea would encroach some 180 million years ago,” Professor DK Pandey said.

This basin is known for its special geological conditions. Experts found many pieces of bones of species of dinosaurs with short height at Thaiyat and Jethvai village in Jaisalmer. Dr Jan Schlogl from the Commenius University in Slovakia and Prof Grzegorz Pienkowski from the Polish Geological Institute in Warsaw spotted some peculiar structures in the area adjoining Kutch basin.

“They were soon recognized by Prof Pienkowski as footprints of Pterosaurs or the flying dinosaur. First one was rather small, only 5cm long, but perfectly imprinted on the upper surface of a sandstone bed. Its shape and name is clear – it is called Grallator, a specific name given to the footprint, left by a small predatory dinosaur. The footprint maker was not bigger than a hen. However, the second footprint was much bigger – about 30cm long. Such tridactyl footprint (it means that three toes are imprinted) is named Eubrontes giganteus and it must have been left by a much, much bigger creature. Prof Pienkowski estimated that the dinosaur could be some 6-7m long! It means that it was longer than the biggest known recent crocodile. It was not only longer, but much more dangerous and agile than crocodile, running fast on its two legs, grasping a prey with strong-clawed forelimbs and terrifying jaws, armed with sharp teeth. These teeth were some three times longer than teeth of the Indian tiger. These are the first evidences that Jurassic dinosaurs, both small and big, once lived in the territory of Rajasthan.”