A single footprint of a feline-sized dinosaur was discovered some 100 million years ago in China by an international team of paleontologists.
University of Queensland researcher Dr. Anthony Romilio was part of a team that examined the route found by Associate Professor Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences (Beijing).
“This footprint was made by herbivorous armored dinosaurs, widely known as Stegosaur, a family of famous Stegosaurus dinosaurs,” said Dr Romilio.
“Like Stegosaurus, this little dinosaur likely had a spike on its tail and a bone-on its back as it adulthood.
“With a footprint less than six centimeters, this is the smallest Stegosaur footprint known in the world.
“It is very different from other Stegosaur prints found in the Chinese track, which are up to 30 centimeters high, and those found in places like Broome in Western Australia, where there is a strong sense of identity. Up to 80 cm tall
The small footprint resembles that of other Stegosaur footprints, with short, round toes three inches wide.
However, the researchers found that the print was not stretched like the large prints found in the track area, showing that the little stegosor behaved differently.
“Stegosors typically walk with their heels on the ground like humans. But those four sides will leave a long footprint, ”said Dr. Romilio.
“The little rails showed the dinosaur moving with its heels off the ground, just as birds or cats do today.”
“We’ve seen short tracks like this before when dinosaurs walked on two legs.”
Associate Professor Xing said a possible young Stegosaur was a walking animal.
“This may have been possible, since this was the ancestral state and posture of most dinosaurs. But Stegosaur can also switch to heel walking as it grows, ”said Dr. Sing.
“These little footprints, complete sets, will give us the answer to this question. Unfortunately, we only have one footprint. ”
Finding smaller tracks on a crowded track site will be a challenge for researchers.
“Footprints created by tiny armored dinosaurs are more rare than footprints made by other dinosaurs,” said Associate Professor Xing.
“Now that our study has identified nine different dinosaur tracking locations from this area, we’ll examine them in more detail to see if we can find more of these little rails.”
The paper was published in the form Palaios And a collaboration of researchers from China, the United States, Germany and Australia.
A tiny raptor track leads to a big breakthrough.
Lidasing et al. The Stegosaur Track Assemblage from Xinjiang, China offers the smallest known Stegosaur record. Palaios (2021). DOI: 10.2110 / palo.2020.036
Provided by the University of Queensland
Reference: International Paleontology team discovered a feline-sized stegosaur (2021, April 16). Retrieved 17 April 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-international-paleontology-team-tiny-cat. -sized.html
This document is copyrighted. In addition to fair agreements for personal study or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is prepared for informational purposes only.