‘Dinosaur Genius’, 5, Becomes the Youngest to Discover 130 Million-Year-Old Footprints


A 5-year-old boy from China made headlines after he discovered footprints left by dinosaurs around 130 million years ago near his home.

Yang Zherui, a science-loving kindergartner with a budding interest in paleontology was interested in the fossilized footprints after he heard his grandfather talking about “chicken tracks” when he returned to their home in Sichuan Province for the National Day holiday, according to China News.


Zherui asked his parents to take him where the unidentified prints were located on Oct. 1. Locals knew of the markings for a long time but it was Zherui who, after observing them, concluded it was made by three-toed, bird-like dinosaurs called theropods, the Daily Mail reported.

His parents immediately called Xing Lida, an associate professor at the China University of Geosciences and a dinosaur specialist, to inform the scientific community about the child’s discovery.

Screenshot via Frontline

After receiving the news, Lida traveled to the location on Friday and confirmed Zherui’s find the following day. The paleontologist also said the ancient tracks were left around 130 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, which lasted from 143 million to 66 million years ago.

The tracks are rare and the first found traces of dinosaurs from that period in the northern part of Sichuan Province. This marked Zherui as the youngest person to ever find such an important discovery in China.

Lida and his team stated they would research and hold an exhibition for the theropod tracks in the future.

Featured Image Screenshots via Frontline

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