Dinosaur footprints discovered in Bari

The discovery of dinosaur tracks in October suggests Bari, in the southern Italian region of Puglia, was a stomping ground for the animals millions of years ago, and a survey of the area began on Thursday to see if it can be turned into a tourist attraction.

Dinosaur footprints discovered in Bari
10,000 dinosaur footprints have been found in Bari, Puglia. Photo: shvmoz/Flickr

Palaeontologist Marco Petruzzelli discovered the 10,000 footprints last October in a disused quarry in the natural park of Lama Balice, Bari Today reported.

The footprints were left by herds of different species of the animal, including sauropods, tetrapod and ankylosauria, and are spread across an area of 3,500 square metres.

A survey is now underway to confirm Petruzzell's findings and will be followed by an assessment of the area's historical value, with the eventual aim of turning it into an “open-air museum”.

The land is privately owned by entrepreneur Dante Mazzitelli, who has plans to build an amphitheatre in the park, but he said he did not think there was a conflict, suggesting that "the two could be compatible and together could represent a great cultural attraction for the area."

This is the latest of many traces left by the gigantic creatures across the heel of Italy's boot, with evidence of their existence found in 14 of Puglia's comunes. The area was inhabited by dinosaurs throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, hundreds of millions of years ago.

Bari is already home to 'Il Parco dei Dinosauri', an educational open-air museum of life-size dinosaur models based on fossils found in the area.

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