The Trento Natural History Museum announced earlier this week that researchers have found fossilized tracks made by creatures believed to be the ancestors of dinosaurs in the Dolomite Mountains, according to ANSA.
Found in the Vallarsa Valley, which pre-dates the Alps, the tracks date back 242 million years, to a time shortly before the dinosaurs appeared. The tracks were embedded in dried-up and eroded mountain streambeds.
According to researchers, these tracks may belong to a common ancestor of not just dinosaurs, but also today's crocodiles and lizards, that was previously unknown to science.
These are not the first such findings in Italy. In 2009, similar footprints from dinosaur ancestors dating to about 220 million years ago were found east of Lake Iseo near Brescia.