Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Definitive Evidence Found Of A Swimming Dinosaur

Date:
May 24, 2007
Source:
Geological Society of America
Summary:
An extraordinary underwater trackway with 12 consecutive prints provides the most compelling evidence to-date that some dinosaurs were swimmers. The 15-meter-long trackway, located in La Virgen del Campo track site in Spain's Cameros Basin, contains the first long and continuous record of swimming by a non-avian therapod dinosaur.

Sketch of a swimming theropod dinosaur on the shores of the Cretaceous lake Cameros in Spain.
Credit: Drawn by Guillaume Suan, University Lyon1, France

An extraordinary underwater trackway with 12 consecutive prints provides the most compelling evidence to-date that some dinosaurs were swimmers. The 15-meter-long trackway, located in La Virgen del Campo track site in Spain's Cameros Basin, contains the first long and continuous record of swimming by a non-avian therapod dinosaur.

Related Articles


A team led by Rubén Ezquerra, Fundación Patrimonio Paleontológico de La Rioja, La Rioja, Spain, discovered the prints in an area long known for its abundance of terrestrial dinosaur trackways dating from the early Cretaceous 125 million years ago. The team's findings are reported in the June issue of GEOLOGY, published by the Geological Society of America.

The trackway consists of 6 asymmetrical pairs of 2-3 scratch marks each. Each set of scratch marks, preserved in a layer of sandstone, averages approximately 50 centimeters in length and 15 centimeters wide. The spacing between them suggests an underwater stride of 243-271 centimeters.

According to co-author Loic Costeur, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, Université de Nantes, France, the S-shaped prints paint a picture of a large floating animal clawing the sediment as it swam in approximately 3.2 meters of water. Ripple marks on the surface of the site indicate the dinosaur was swimming against a current, struggling to maintain a straight path.

"The dinosaur swam with alternating movements of the two hind limbs, a pelvic paddle swimming motion," said Costeur. "It is a swimming style of amplified walking with movements similar to those used by modern bipeds, including aquatic birds."

The question of whether dinosaurs could swim has been researched for years. Until now, however, very little hard evidence existed documenting the behavior. Several earlier discoveries were later found to have been produced on dry ground or categorized as ghost traces, possible undertracks preserved in lower layers of sediment.

"The trackway at La Virgen del Campo opens the door to several new areas of research," said Costeur. "New biomechanical modeling will increase our understanding of dinosaur physiology and physical capabilities, as well as our view of the ecological niches in which they lived."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Geological Society of America. "Definitive Evidence Found Of A Swimming Dinosaur." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524091023.htm>.
Geological Society of America. (2007, May 24). Definitive Evidence Found Of A Swimming Dinosaur. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524091023.htm
Geological Society of America. "Definitive Evidence Found Of A Swimming Dinosaur." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524091023.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) — A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III Saga Ends With Burial And An Eye Roll

Richard III Saga Ends With Burial And An Eye Roll

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Richard III was finally laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral on Thursday, but not without some controversy over who should get credit for finding him. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Triassic Salamander Acted More Like A Crocodile

Giant Triassic Salamander Acted More Like A Crocodile

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) — An ancient crocodile-like salamander more than 10 times the average size of its modern-day counterparts has been discovered in Portugal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Plague-Era Skeletons Bring History Back to Life in London

Plague-Era Skeletons Bring History Back to Life in London

AFP (Mar. 24, 2015) — London office workers are coming face-to-face with the hidden history beneath their feet as 3,000 skeletons dating back to the 16th century are dug up to make way for a new railway line. Duration: 01:11 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins