Dinosaur nursery

It is in Tarija, in southern Bolivia. It is a real treasure. But it could disappear because of new landslides. That is why it is important to protect the dinosaur nursery, so named because of the large number of remains and footprints of young dinosaurs found there.

“To protect the tracks by making a whole structure in the river basin is impossible. We have to scan the footprints now,” said Argentine palentologist Sebastián Apesteguía. He is one of the authors of the discovery. His research was compiled by the newspaper El País.

This is a representation of the dinosaur nursery route .
This is a representation of the dinosaur nursery route .

350 incredible footprints

The research was published last November. Some 350 footprints were uncovered in the Andean country. It happened after a torrential rain in the spring of 2019.

These are the footprints of two adult sauropods (brontosaurus-like dinosaurs). They guided hundreds of young about 150 million years ago. There are also footprints of two iguanodonts and a theropod (similar to tyrannosaurs). It would be the longest dinosaur migration route in the world. It spans from southern Peru, through central Bolivia, to northern Argentina.

The footprints of adult sauropods are between 75 and 95 centimeters in diameter. While the footprints of babies measure between 15 and 30 centimeters.

“The curious thing is that you don’t see more of these small footprints at the site. Clearly they came along the same trail or in a compact group with the two giants. It is a herd behavior and protection of the young.”

The tracks tell a story.
Footprints tell a story.


Protection of the fossil record is urgent, as this is a landslide zone. Less than 500 meters from Tarija is the paleontological national monument. Orcko Lime. It is the most relevant area with dinosaur footprints in the world. There are ravines of up to 70 degrees of inclination.

“With anything that happens above, the collapse comes and in Tarija the same thing. You can see how a step of the jungle collapsed and that anticipates what will be the next one,” said the scholar. The dinosaur nursery may inevitably disappear. Therefore, it is convenient to take precautions now.

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