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Walking with dinosaurs in Turkmenistan's 'Jurassic Park'

Published on May 3, 2014 11:32 AM

KOYTENDAG NATIONAL PARK, Turkmenistan (AFP) - Some eight hours dusty drive from the nearest major settlement, tucked into the eastern corner of Turkmenistan and unknown to the outside world until the second half of the last century, lies the "Plateau of the Dinosaurs".

One of the least visited spots in the former Soviet Union, it is the location of one of the most magnificent collections of fossilised dinosaur tracks anywhere on Planet Earth, which only became known to Soviet palaeontologists in the 1950s.

"Steven Spielberg should have shot 'Jurassic Park' here. Here the tracks of the dinosaurs are real and not made by computers," said Mr Aman, 35, an inhabitant of the village of Khodja Pil at the foot of the plateau.

On the plateau, some 2,500 dinosaur tracks have been discovered. Some are 40cm long and 30cm wide, others even bigger, measuring 70cm by 60cm. A dinosaur 5m to 6m tall could take a stride of up to 2m.

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