October 23, 2019
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Study of dinosaur footprints shows their movement in soft terrain

By Pilar Mazo

Logroño, Spain, Jul 31 (efe-epa).- A trail of footsteps from a carnivorous dinosaur is key to analyzing the movement of the animals in soft terrain.

Scientists from the department of paleontology at the University of La Rioja have studied the fossilized imprints, which were found at the site of the Virgen del Campo in the north of Spain.

Around half a thousand ichnites, fossilized footprints, have been discovered in the outcrop.

Angélica Torices, director of the project at the university, told Efe on Wednesday that the trail was originally found during the 2000s but had not been studied in depth until now.

There are 21 small and medium sized footsteps and their importance lies in the fact that they do not resemble those of the rest of the carnivorous ichnites found at the site.

Findings of the study said it was "another type of carnivore, which was walking in that lake 120 million years ago".

Torices said that the first indications of the investigation were that it could be a dinosaur about two meters long, like a velociraptor or a dromaeosaurus.

In recent years, what has been discovered corresponds to a large-scale carnivore, about six metres long.

Torices described the value of the site as "incalculable" and also praised its diversity, which includes prints from a swimming dinosaur, the first found in the world.

There are also tracks that show the beginning of a fight between a carnivorous dinosaur and a herbivore, the marks left by the mud slipped due to a strong earthquake and the ripples produced by the waves were also fossilized.

Ichnites in La Rioja region are considered some of the most important in the world and paleontologists estimate that there are more than 10,000 visible fossil footprints. EFE-EPA

pmg/rb

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