129 Million Years

Six dinosaur footprints dating back 129 million years were discovered at the archeological site of Las Hoyas in Cuenca, east-central Spain, by a team of archaeologists.

Six dinosaur footprints dating back 129 million years were discovered at the archeological site of Las Hoyas in Cuenca, east-central Spain, by a team of archaeologists.

These imprints belonged to a previously unidentified theropod dinosaur.

These 129 million years old tracks are unique in that, while the right foot’s tracks are perfectly normal with the three typical toes, the left foot’s tracks are distorted and one of the toes is dislocated.

Limping dinosaurs in Spain

To characterize and simulate the 129 million years old tracks, as well as compare them to other trackways, the writers employed a number of methodologies, as per ScienceDaily.

They noticed that the right foot’s traces show all three toes, while the left foot’s innermost toe is only represented by extremely small and unevenly shaped patterns in the sediment, indicating an injury or deformity.

The footprints are also wider than usual theropod traces, indicating that this dinosaur’s locomotion was altered to compensate for its wounded foot.

Certain deformations in the right footprints corroborated this theory, indicating that the animal was exerting more weight on that side.

The animal’s hip height would have been 190 centimeters, and its body length would have been six to seven meters, according to the experts, because the imprints on the trackway are 45 centimeters apart.

“It’s one of the largest creatures we’ve discovered or that we interpret to have had the largest size of anything we’ve discovered in Las Hoyas,” said Angela D Buscalioni, a paleontologist and head of the Center for Integration in Paleobiology (CIPb-UAM) and one of the study’s authors.

Much was previously known about the diversity of species that existed in this marsh because of their fossils, according to the researcher.

Despite the fact that the initial traces were discovered almost a decade ago, the path had unique characteristics that took “some effort and labor to analyze and identify what happened to the dinosaur as it traversed that swamp,” she explained via El Pais.

They haven’t ruled out the possibility of finding further tracks along the same path.

According to the study’s findings, the dinosaur left a path when it walked through a shallow water region on its way to the primary source of water.

The track was discovered to have been placed on a microbial carpet, according to the investigation.

This is generated by algae and bacteria and covers the surface or bottom of a waterlogged region, according to Buscalioni, and is “exactly what existed in the lowest section of these pools at the site.”

Using a 3D model for more specific details

A team of diverse researchers conducted this investigation.

They employed a 3D scanner to create it, which offers extremely detailed information on the track’s surface.

It was complemented by sedimentology analysis and metric research. The path was also compared to samples of 75 different bipedal dinosaur trackways.

Since the site’s investigation began roughly 30 years ago, a variety of different findings have been uncovered.

It is even the subject of a book, “Las Hoyas: A Cretaceous Wetland” by Buscalioni and Francisco José Poyato Ariza, which summarized the initial study done at the site, headed by José Luis Sanz.

Las Hoyas is portrayed in the book as a natural history laboratory where new issues are always being raised.

Sanz was part of a group of three Spanish scientists that found and named a new dinosaur species, Concavenator corcovatus, in a study published in Nature magazine in 2010.

They had discovered Pelecanimimus polyodon at the same location two decades ago.

According to research recently published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, it was the first ornithomimosaur to be described in Europe.

This news was originally published by Nature World News.

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