Footprints found on a beach in northern Germany indicate that dinosaurs might have been social beings.
The large footprints discovered on the beach are another piece of evidence supporting the theory that some species of dinosaurs liked to socialize.
Scientists are currently trying to analyze the two sets of large fossilized footprints that were discovered on a beach in Germany between 2009 and 2011. This might give them some clue on what species of dinosaurs lived in the area.
Many researchers went to Germany to study fossilized dinosaur footprints. Pernille Troelsen was the first to examine those footprints as a biologist. She believes that she could reveal a new perspective about the footprints given the fact that she has an educational background in biology. “As a biologist, I can contribute with knowledge about behavior of the individual animals”, Troelsen said.
Researchers believe that both dinosaurs were carnivorous and that they belong to the Megalosauripus species that lived almost 140 million years ago.
The size of the footprints indicates that one of the dinosaurs was adult, while the other was younger and smaller. The bigger footprints are 13.5 inches long, while the smaller ones are 9.5 inches long.
Based on the measurements, researchers have drawn the conclusion that the dinosaurs could be Velociraptors. This seems possible because the Velociraptors also walked and ran on two feet.
The scientists estimated their speed based on the footprints and they believe that the two dinosaurs were probably walking at a slow, strolling pace. The large one was walking at 3.9 miles per hour, while the little one could only go as fast as 6 miles per hour. The pace was really slow given the fact that carnivorous dinosaurs could run faster than 25 miles per hour.
The footprints show variation which made scientists assume there had been some fluctuations in the walking pace. They believe this is because the younger one was trying to keep up with the adult, but also because they had to stop and eat and the strong winds might have had an impact on their walking pace.
At some points the footprints show that the younger dinosaur started trotting in order to keep up with the adult. Researchers have also concluded that the two dinosaurs would sometimes slip because the sand was wet.
Scientists do not exclude the possibility that the two dinosaurs visited the same area at different times.
Photo credits: Unexplained-mysteries.com