The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
The illustration shows a swimming dinosaur leaving deep, complete footprints in shallow water and incomplete footprints as it gradually loses contact with the sea floor. Illustration courtesy Debra Mickelson.
Debra Mickelson of CU-Boulders geological sciences department said the research team identified the tracks of the six-foot-tall, bipedal dinosaur at a number of sites in northern Wyoming, including the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. "It was about the size of an ostrich, and it was a meat-eater," she said. "The tracks suggest it waded along the shoreline and swam offshore, perhaps to feed on fish or carrion."
Mickelson will present her findings at the Geological Society of Americas annual meeting Oct. 16-19 in Salt Lake City. She collaborated on the project with researchers from CU-Boulder, Indiana University, Dartmouth College, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Massachusetts.
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