Did some crocodiles walk on two legs in the past?


Recently discovered footprints show that crocodiles walked on two legs 110 million years ago. The footprints were discovered off the coast of South Korea. During the Cretaceous period there were many lagoons in this area and therefore it was a very muddy area.

Two-legged crocodile
Image from National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com.es/ciencia/cocodrilos-bipedos-prehistoricos-pterosaurios-huellas-jinju_15606

The site of the first discovery is near the city of Jinju and was therefore called the Jinju Formation. Other footprints were later found in Fußon Jahye-ri. It is a place near the city of Sancheon. Based on their properties, it is confirmed that they were carried out with the animal’s hind legs.

They are the first proof that there were bipedal crocodiles at that time. Information is known about crocodiles walking on their hind legs in the Mesozoic Era. But this time is long before the Cretaceous period.

Analysis and research by scientists

Korean scientists worked with others from the United States to analyze the discovery. As a result, it has been reported that the traces may come from a Batrachopus grandis. It is estimated that this species lived in areas where there were bodies of water more than 100 million years ago.

The traces found correspond to the animal’s hind limbs. But the ones produced by the front legs were missing. Finally, the scientists and paleontologists concluded together. The constant lack of traces on the front limbs indicated that the crocodile was walking on two legs.

offered crocodile tracks
Image from National Geographic: https://static.nationalgeographicla.com/files/styles/image_3200/public/pterosaurfootprints3.jpg?w=710&h=416

The footprint size was 25.5 cm to 35.5 cm long and 12.5 cm wide. From this it can be concluded that the crocodile was about three meters long. In this area he was surrounded by other dinosaurs and lizards. Some turtles also lived there.

More complete traces of the animal will be discovered in 2019. The pads of the fingers, the central pad and the fingers themselves can be distinguished. The properties of the skin also remain connected to the current crocodile.

Ancient reptiles with similar properties to current crocodiles are called morphocrocodiles. He went on his hind legs and put one foot in front of the other.

Scientists believe that the chalk-biped species has given way to today’s crocodiles. Why they stopped on two legs is unknown. However, it is known that they are still very deadly to the species that cross the rivers in which they are located.

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