TOYAMA — A Tokyo Gakugei University paleontological team has concluded that Cretaceous period creatures who left a series of footprint fossils — found two years ago in Oyama, Toyama Prefecture — are of a never-before-discovered species. The team said the dinosaur may have belonged to the bird-foot or small animal-foot families.

The team studied 55 fossils, the footprints of which belonged to 33 dinosaurs of the kind. Each footprint fossil measures 5 cm to 8 cm, larger than those left by birds, which are usually 3 cm to 4 cm.

The team concluded that the fossils were left by herbivorous dinosaurs and not by birds because the prints showed three digits on each foot that were symmetrical and no trace of nails was found. It is estimated that the dinosaur was 1.2 meters long. When the footprints were made, they were walking at a speed of 1.2 kph, the paleontologists estimate.

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