Fossilized footprints uncovered in northeastern British Columbia suggest the ferocious tyrannosaurs that ruled the Earth 70 million years ago just may have been more gregarious than than they’ve been given credit for.
The trio of footprints preserved in a remote ridge of rock near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is the first foot track evidence that the saw-toothed beasts were not solitary, but travelled in packs.
Richard McCrea, of the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre, says the tyrannosaur trails were exposed by heavy rains in the region in 2011 and the first two footprints were discovered by a local guide outfitter that October.
The guide immediately reported the find and over the next year, McCrea and his team uncovered five more tyrannosaurid tracks and dozens of other dinosaur footprints preserved so well that skin imprints are visible.
Each footprint is more than half a metre long, and paleontologists estimate the trio were 26, 29 and 25 years old.
Research on the Tumbler Ridge fossils is published in the latest edition of the scientific journal PLOS One.