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swimming dinosaurs

27 February 2016

The idea of swimming dinosaurs has become popular recently, an idea deriving from footprints left behind which tend to show just the front or rear footfalls but not both front and rear at the same time. Various sets of footprints, after the initial claim, have been added to the accumulating idea that dinosaurs could swim or wade, but just what kind of environment is envisaged during the Jurassic. In the UK, if you go by geological theory, half the country was underwater with numerous sand bars and estuarine locations, in a climate very close to that of modern Florida. As a result these animals are thought to have lived in marshy regions and along sea shores, painting an even bigger picture of dinosaurs swimming or wading around with one set of feet in the sand or mud flats and the other set of feet doing the breast stroke – or doggy paddle. Now we have the Chinese, in a down to earth rethink, putting some reality back into the Jurassic world, as many dinosaur fossils have been dug out of the ground in that part of the world. At http://phys.org/print375526493.html … they are saying that dinosaur footprints, left behind in sand and sediments, reflect where the weight of the animal was greatest – on the rear or the front of the beasts, and the lighter touch of the opposing feet did not make as deep an indentation as the heavier feet. Sounds reasonable. We are therefore left wondering if any of the dinosaurs swam.

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