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Journey to the footsteps of dinosaurs.

Season: May-October

Duration: 1 day

A brief description of the route:

You can get to the place where the route starts from Dushanbe, and also from the Uzbek-Tajik border (Sari Osie). The distance from Dushanbe to the place of the start is about 100 km, from the border - 55 km. Tourists, who traveling from Uzbekistan, after crossing the border can proceed to the guest house "Abdurazok", which is located in the village Shirkent on way to the footsteps of dinosaurs. You can put up, have a rest and eat in this guest house. You can also leave some of your equipment, as the journey is very easy. Upon returning tourists can stay overnight in the guest house. Opposite the guest house there is a natural hot spring where you can take therapeutic baths. A huge accumulation of footprints are in the upper left tributary of Shirkent river. It is about 4 km east from Kirgizvillage. Dinosaur footprints are a bundle of organogenic-detrital limestone and dolomite of about 100 m. Within this bundle there are two footprint horizons, separated by an interval of 3,4-4 m. This location is the biggest in Tajikistan according to the total number of fossil prints (over 300) and its size.

Three disparate footprint fields with a total amount of footprints of dinosaurs more than 200 can be found within this horizon. The largest field (150x40 m) is located in the western part of the horizon. It is noted here that about three dozen sub-parallel (rare - overlapping), non-parallel chains with the general orientation of the tracks in the southwest - northeast rumba, can be seen here. The average length of chains of 5-6 m, maximum - 13.5 m. The full dimensions of the traces of type I range from 48x34 to 52x36 cm with the length of a single-step of an animal about 1 m. In some cases, the footprints of this type are in one direction and like pairs, which can be consequence of two or more different trace "tracks." Traces of the type II are also three-toed, but they are considerably smaller (26x16 cm) and the shape is different – sharp heel and wide apart prints of the phalanges. The middle finger has a length of 15-17 cm, and often narrows at the end, which is likely to indicate the presence of claws. The step size of animal is 0.9-1 m, step depth is about 2 cm. Form of the W-type giant tracks that form the chains within the 2nd footprint field, is not very clear. The tracks that are strongly embedded in the rock and surrounded by wide rolls, these tracks contain inexplicit prints of three short phalanges. These are the general parameters of footprints of this type: the length is 57-65 cm, wide near the heel is 33-35 cm, at the base of the middle finger is 40-43 cm, step length is from 1 to 2 m. Within this horizon there are 65-70 footprints of dinosaurs grouped in a few isolated chains with the length of 25 m. Based on the morphology and the parameters described footprints, one can assume that the prints of the Type I and II were left by the representatives of the two-legged dinosaurs of the Theropoda group.

Dinosaurs of Central Asia were the inhabitants of sub-tropics, and lived in the areas with flat, low-mountain landscape, which adjoined to the sea lowlands and estuaries of the rivers.

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