Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dinosaur find - a swimming predator

Dinosaur trackways leading into water have been found before, but these have always belonged to herbivores. Was the water a refuge from predatory species? A 125-million-year-old fossil from northern Spain indicates otherwise. A trackway on what used to be a lake bed indicates at least one (still not identified) species of theropod (a member of the group including everyone's favorite. T. rex), could indeed swim after prey. Loic Costeur of France's Universite de Nantes led a team which just published its studies of tracks made in water about 3.5 meters deep, leaving marks of the dinosaur's clawed feet on the bottom. Costeur told CNN in an email that, "The animal used a pelvic paddle motion, much like living aquatic birds."

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