Scientists have uncovered the possibility that two dinosaurs strolled together on the beach in Germany by the close set of footprints marked within the sand around 142 million years ago.
What has piqued the interest of most geologists, biologists and anthropologists is the fact that both specimens were of a carnivorous nature, and now the study is implying a possible social behavior of such perilous predators.
Pernille Troelsen from the University of Southern Denmark, who has studied the fossils has approached the matter with a master in biology underneath his belt, unlike many of the other scientists who have studied the Bückeberg Formation in Germany for the past 200 years.
The nature and pacing of the two pairs of 50 footprints fossilized in the sand within a mudstone layer gave hints to the social aspect of the dinosaurs’ lives. They had been studied extensively by researchers and has helped them gain an insight into the behavior of a creature that predated our existence for millions of years.
According to Troelsen, the foot tracks have been imprinted upon the sand of beaches in what is now northern Germany, by two carnivorous dinosaurs belonging to the Megalosauripusgenus species, the same that was similar to the famous Velociraptor that was an excellent and vicious hunter of its kind.
The dinosaurs, however, were of different sizes and strolling at unequal paces which suggests that they were walking side by side. The larger one was said to have stood at 5.2 feet, walking at a pace of 3.9 miles per hour, with a footprint the size of a U.S. men’s 15, while the smaller dinosaur was only 3.6 feet tall, but walking at a 6 miles per hour pace and its footprint was roughly the size 6 of U.S. men’s.
The very low speeds are the defining factor through which their movement was described as leisured strolling. Carnivorous species were often known to run at a speed of 25 miles per hour, but it was definitely not what these two pairs of footprints suggest.
The difference in size and pace suggest that the smaller one may have actually compensated for its shorter length in step in order to stay along the other’s side. The researchers have suggested after studying the footprints that the smaller dinosaur may have also stumbled a bit, crossing legs and slipping on the wet sands while trying to keep pace.
While it paints a romantic picture of dinosaur social interaction by the image of two of them walking together down the beach, it’s still unclear if the footprints belong to the same period of time. There is a possibility that the dinosaurs were years apart, though that would take quite a coincidence of fossilized side steps that may otherwise indicate to a social behavior among vicious predators.
Image source: natureworldreport.com