Scientists discover bizarre fossil footprints belonging to giant crocodiles walking on foot

According tomedia BGR, people know about modern crocodiles and their four-legged crawling postures. A collection of mysterious footprint fossils found in South Korea may rewrite our understanding of how some ancient Cretaceous crocodiles move. An international team led by Kyung Soo Kim of Jinzhou University of Education studied the footprints, which initially appeared to belong to pterosaurs. Pterosaurs are flying dinosaurs that may move on land with their feet.

Scientists discover bizarre fossil footprints belonging to giant crocodiles walking on foot

After careful examination, scientists found that the footprints of 110 million years ago matched crocodiles. Anthony Romilio, a paleontologist at the University of Queensland, described the footprints as “spectacular” and said: “They’ve saved even the fine details of toe pads and scales on the soles of their feet.” “

“Typical crocodiles crawl in squats and create wide footprints,” Kyung Soo Kim said in a press release. “Strangely enough, the footprints we found looked very narrow – more like crocodiles looking for balance on a wire. Based on an analysis of footprints, the researchers ruled out the idea of pterosaurs or bipedal dinosaurs. “Dinosaurs and their bird descendants walked with their toes. Crocodiles walk flat with their feet, leaving a clear mark on the heel, just like humans. “

Scientists discover bizarre fossil footprints belonging to giant crocodiles walking on foot

These footprints also show that the crocodile’s ancestors were quite large, reaching 10 feet (3 meters) long. This helped these footprints get the name “Batrachopus Grandis”.

The researchers made their findings Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. “No one thought there would be such a big bipedal crocodile,” said Martin Lockley, a paleontologist at the University of Colorado at Denver and co-author of the study. “