London, July 23 : A team of scientists have scanned 2 kilometres of a soft-rock outcrop at the Fumanya site in the southern Pyrenees in Spain with the help of a laser, to illuminate fragile dinosaur footprints, which date back to about 70 million years ago.
According to a report in New Scientist, Phil Manning of the University of Manchester, UK, and his team scanned the surface with LIDAR - a laser technique that maps features in a similar way to radar.
The footprints, at the Fumanya site in the southern Pyrenees in Spain, record the passage of huge long-necked dinosaurs called titanosaurs across a muddy area about 70 million years ago.
Because the problem is that the footprint layer is soft and crumbling, and climbing the steep surface could damage the tracks, laser scanning needed to be done.
The scanner and allied software generated a detailed 3D contour map of the surface and prints.