Not longer than ten years ago, in the scree over the Staulanza pass, about one hundred of footsteps belonging to pre-historical creatures were found on a boulder, which detached from Mt. Pelmetto. Vittorino Cazzetta, a collaborator of the Museum, found these footsteps in Selva di Cadore. Then, researchers from the Paleontology Department of the Padoa University, under the supervision of Prof. Miotto, confirmed that the footsteps belonged to small dinosaurs, dating back to 200 million years ago. The majority of the footprints belong to the Coelurosaurians, small carnivorous sauropods, while the clearer footprints belong to a Ornithisc, with three fingers: the middle one longer than the other two shorter and a little spread out.

coeulorosaria mediumCoeulorosaria
The characteristics of these dinosaurs include a sacrum extended distally stiffened tail and, in general, tibia longer than femur. Recent fossil evidence that at least some groups celurosauri were covered in life, a sort of plumage. [Citation needed] It is possible that these proto-feathers were a hallmark of the entire group.

Most celurosauri were bipedal predators, in this group are some of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs (such as Tyrannosaurus) and some of the smaller dinosaurs in general (as Microraptor) discovered so far. Modern birds are now considered [citation needed] as a subgroup of celurosauri belonging to maniraptora.

Theropods diversified

The coelurosauri are undoubtedly the most diverse group of theropods, and perhaps of all the dinosaurs, even without including the birds. There are huge superpredators (tyrannosaurids), runners without teeth (ornitomimidi), two types of hunters from large bird-like claws (dromeosauridi and troodontid), strange herbivores like sloths and huge clawed feet (terizinosauri), small animals from the diet unknown with strange crested heads and jaws (and oviraptoridi caenagnatidi) and some of the smallest among all theropods (compsognatidi and microraptoridi).

(Main source Wikipedia 2010)


Ornithischians (Ornithischia) before subsidy-driven or are one of the two major lineages of dinosaurs, grouping exclusively herbivorous forms and with its beak.

Ornithischians are known as “bird-like dinosaur from the dock” because of the structure of their pelvis, although in fact the birds descended from dinosaurs “from the basin lizard (saurischians). Being herbivores often lived in herds, ornithischians were more numerous than saurischians, since in essence they were the prey of theropods and were smaller than the sauropods.

The division of the ornithischians saurischians relies on the fact that they have a pelvis similar to that of birds, some peculiarities in the vertebrae and a bone predentale. The predentale is possessed only by a bone ornithischians, which is located in front of the jaw, and extends the dentary. The predentale premascella coincides with the upper area of the mouth. Together, these two structures form a device resembling a beak, used to cut the leaves of the plants. The pubis of ornithischians pointing down and towards the tail, while that of saurischians but pointing down toward the front of the animal. Ornithischians also possess anteorbitali windows smaller than those of the wider pelvis and saurischians and robust.

(Main source Wikipedia 2010)

The exceptional discovery dates back to the Superior Triassic era, which means that in this area there were the ancestors of the better known larger dinosaurs of the Jurassic era (the recent programs and movies show us many of those dinosaurs). What it is also surprising is the geographical site in which these footprints have been found. The Dolomites were a long time ago a sea area and they couldn’t host land animals, of course. Therefore it is possible to assume that in this particular area, there was a lagoon, rich with the food for the herbivorous animals, and a natural prey for the carnivorous ones. The “Friends of the Selva Museum” printed a brochure, which is possible to find at the refuge in the Staulanza pass. We wish that, as this finding is very important, it would be properly signaled with tourist signs.

Accessibility: From Passo Staulanza – from Palafavera – from Coi
Length: 5 km roundtrip
Time: 2:30 hrs. roundtrip
Path: clear yellow tables
Altitude: 300 m.
Difficulties: long distance rail in the woods, steep final climb on scree
Route description percorso: Get to the Staulanza pass, and then follow the path of the Alta Via delle Dolomiti N.l that will lead you to the Venezia refuge. After about a forty minute walk through a sparse wood, you’ll see a sign which says: “orme dei dinosauri” (dinosaurs footprints). Start climbing on the Pelmetto rocks and after passing the last part of a steep scree, you’ll reach the huge isolated boulder easily visible from below.