Curiously enough, the crocodiles on two legs

driving Savvy hunters can easily identify by the tracks of animals, which can, for example, the soft surface of a body of water in Africa are gone. Because Gaze

Curiously enough, the crocodiles on two legs

driving Savvy hunters can easily identify by the tracks of animals, which can, for example, the soft surface of a body of water in Africa are gone. Because Gazelle, lion, crocodile and Co. to leave footprints with characteristic features. In General, users of such tracks, of quickly, but in some cases you can be through Overlays, for example, with Sand or mud and preserved. In this way, millions of fossils emerged before the year of the traces of the animal world that are found today in some places of the world. Who is there to run once, you can often at least roughly assign. Because the representatives of certain prehistoric animal groups like the giant sauropods, or the two-legged predatory dinosaurs had a typical foot shapes and movement patterns, where they are visible.

In the current case, the researchers Anthony Romilio of the University of Queensland have investigated well-preserved traces of a site in the South Korean Jinju Formation. The datings, according to the 'polluter pays' were there in front of about 110 to 120 million years ago in the muddy shore of a lake landscape on the way. The 100 footprints are 18 to 24 inches long, and sometimes so well preserved that the structures of the skin are still visible. "It will have even the fine Details of the toe pad, and scales on the soles,“ says Romilio.

A crocodile's!

According to the analyses of the structures and the nature of the occurrence, the researchers came to the conclusion that the traces are from a representative of the so-called Crocodylomorpha. These were the ancestors of today's crocodiles that have spawned in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, numerous types. Other sources do not come to the paleontologists, according to the question: "dinosaurs and their bird run offspring on your toes. Crocodiles go on the flat feet and left clear imprints on the heel, similar to humans,“ says Romilio. Exactly these features have the tracks at the site, the Team reported.

The trick is: Although everywhere on the site, footprints were, the researchers found, to their astonishment no prints of the front limbs. "During the Run of a four-legged animal can kick back feet in the print of the Hand and thereby to 'overprint', but this should have been in this Fund is able to emerge,“ says Romilio. He and his colleagues come to the conclusion that the tracks are formed by a two-legged gait. "These beings moving in the same way as many of the dinosaurs, but the footprints do not come from the representatives of this animal group,“ said the paleontologist.

Detail of three of the footprints. (Image: Kyung Soo Kim, Chinju National University of Education, Kyungnam, South Korea.)

two-legged running crocodiles look almost like a joke – but according to the researchers, this is possible. Because the various representatives of the Crocodylomorpha had many features in common with our today's crocodiles, but there are also examples of species with an unusual stature. "Today's crocodiles, run in a squat posture, and cause the width of the traces," says the first author of the study, Kyung-Soo Kim of the Korea's Chinju National University of Education in Jinju. "In our case, the track is very narrow – they were caused by a crocodile on a wire rope balanced. Combined with the Lack of fingerprints on the front limbs and all tail drag traces, it was clear that these creatures have moved to two-legged,“ says Kim.

hope to fossils

According to the estimates of the researchers time crocodiles were the chalk to elongate animals, which were over three meters long. "The size of the footprints of up to about 24 centimeters, suggests that the 'polluter pays' had legs that were about as high as that of an adult human," says Romilio. To them, the animal could have stored his long body so that a movement on two feet was possible, the scientists suspect.

As they continue to report, throwing tracks, and the study is now also a new light on other mysterious: They had walked similar footsteps as the site for the legacies of large pterodactyls (Pterosauriern) held the two-legged through the mud. "Now, it appears that it could be crocodile tracks," says Romilio. This supports the Theory that pterosaurs were able to run only with the support of their angled wing.

so Far, the conclusions of Romilio and his colleagues work, however, still quite speculative. Whether really once crocodiles marched on two legs through the Cretaceous South Korea, may ultimately prove only fossils. So the researchers write in conclusion: "The evidence of a large Crokodylomorphen with bipedalem or optional two-legged speed is surprising, but is possible and could be used in future fossil finds from the Cretaceous period confirmed".

source: University of Queensland, technical articles: Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-66008-7

*The contribution of "Curious: the crocodiles on two legs" is published by Wissenschaft.de. Contact with the executives here.

Wissenschaft.de
Updated Date: 13 June 2020, 00:26

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