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Briton tracks down first Tyrannosaurus footprint
10/10/07
THE first footprint of the most terrifying dinosaur that ever lived may have been found by a British scientist.

The huge impression is thought to be from a Tyrannosaurus rex and 67 million years old.

It was discovered in the dinosaurs’ graveyard Hell Creek, in the badlands of Montana in America, by Dr Phil Manning from Manchester University.

He says the three-feet-square print could only have been made by one of the two species known from Hell Creek – the Nanotyrannus or its bigger relative Tyrannosaurus rex.

And the length of the impression makes flesh-eating, 40ft-long T rex a much more likely source. A print from the 20ft-tall T rex is the Holy Grail of palaeontology.

Only about 50 partial skeletons have been found, all in Hell Creek, since fossil hunters started looking more than 100 years ago.

Dr Manning said: "There is no such thing as a truth in science, so for us this is as close as we can get to what I think is a fantastic find.

"Unless you come across an animal dead in its tracks, you can’t say for definite what left them.

"This is the first time you have a footprint from a big predatory dinosaur – and slap in the middle of T rex country."

His photos will be included in a scientific paper. The story will be charted at 7.30 tonight in BBC TV’s Inside Out North West.
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