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B.C. dinosaur path tracks heyday of prehistoric beasts

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Baku, April 27, AZERTAC 

A type of dinosaur Autobahn, with a riot of ancient footprints that are likely more than 100 million years old, has been discovered in northeastern British Columbia.

Hundreds of prints from extinct carnivores and herbivores are pressed into the flat, rocky surface spanning an area the size of three Canadian football fields, indicating the site was a major dinosaur thoroughfare.

Many of the three-toed prints at the site located near Williston Lake about 1,500 kilometres northeast of Vancouver -- closely resemble the Toronto Raptors logo.

McCrea is the curator of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. He believes the dinosaur path has major potential as a world-class scientific and tourism site, but said he's concerned the B.C. government's approach to protecting and promoting dinosaur zones is somewhat prehistoric.

McCrea said the area is also ripe with tracks made by the Anklosaurus, a four-legged, nine-meter-long herbivore, that weighed almost 6,000 kilograms and was known for its distinctive armor-plated head and long, club-like tail.

He estimated those tracks are between 115 million and 117 million years old.

Tumbler Ridge Liberal MLA Mike Bernier said he's been trying to convince cabinet ministers that the area is an important asset and needs heritage and fossil protection policies.

B.C. Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson, whose ministry covers fossil protection, said he's seen the Tumbler Ridge dinosaur site and has met with Bernier on strengthening the province's fossil management.

Five years ago the government protected the world-renowned McAbee fossil beds near Cache Creek in B.C.'s Interior from professional fossil hunters and others who were mining the area for cat litter.

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