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"Cost of wealth" on the feet of dinosaurs found in the south of England

Close the skin impressions from the Iguanodontic footprint. CREDIT Nile Davis
Close the skin impressions from the Iguanodontic footprint.

Neil Davis

Over the course of 160 years, sporadic reports of fossilized impressions of dinosaurs along the coast of Sussex have appeared, but no real discoveries have been made in the last 25 years, and previous discoveries were far less distinct and detailed than those shown in the current research.

The Hastings region is one of the most extravagant in the UK for dinosaur fossils, including the primary known Iguanodon in 1825, and the main affirmative case of fossilized dinosaur tissue in 2016. We could be like fossils, for example, impressions that can allow researchers to take more on the structure of dinosaur networks, are less common in the area.

Recently, scientists at Cambridge University have identified more than 85 well-preserved footprints of the dinosaur – made of at least seven different species in East Sussex. The discovery is a distinct and comprehensive collection of these trace fossils from the Cretaceous period in the UK to the present.

Two large iguanodontian footprints with the skin and nail nail. CREDIT NEIL DAVIES "width =" 1215 "height =" 810 "srcset =" 1215w, https: // www. 150w, 300w, 768w, /Iguanodontian-Footprints-1024x683.jpg 1024w, 696w, -content / uploads / 2018/12 / Iguanodontian-Footprints-1068x712.jpg 1068w, 630w "sizes =" (maximum-width: 1215px) 100vw, 1215px
Two large iguanodontian footprints with the skin and nail nail.
Neil Davis

Scientists identified footprints after the seasons of coastal erosion along rocks near Hastings. A number of impressions – ranging in size from 2cm to more than 60cm across the cross – are so much protected that fine details of the skin, stairs and claws are effortlessly noticeable.

Footprints date from low chalk, between 145 and 100 million years, with fingerprints of herbivorous animals, including Iguanodon, Ankylosaurus, a type of stenozaurus and possible examples from the sauropod group (which included Diplocus and Brontosaurus); as well as teropods that eat meat.

Anthony Shillito, PhD, a student of the Earth Sciences Department at Cambridge, said: "The fossils of dinosaurs all over the body are incredibly rare. Usually, you get only small pieces that do not tell you much about how this dinosaur can live. A set of footprints such as this helps you to fill some of the gaps and lock things for which dinosaurs live in the same place at the same time. "

Footprints were identified by researchers between 2014 and 2018. Footprints were detected over the past four waves when strong storms and storms caused periods of collapse on the rocks of sandstone and mud.

Small therapeutic (carnivorous) foot. CREDIT Nile Davis "width =" 1440 "height =" 960 "srcset =" 1440w, https: // 150w, / Photo-by -White-Dinosaur-300x200.jpg 300w, 768w, https: / / / 1024w, / Imprint from carnivorous dinosaur-696x464.jpg 696w, 1392w, https: // Editor otprint -from-Carnivorous-Dinosaur-630x420.jpg 630w, https: // www / wp-content / uploads / 2018/12 / Footprint-from-Carnivorous-Dinosaur-1260x840.jpg 1260w "sizes =" (max-width: 1440px) 100vw, 1440px
Small therapeutic (carnivorous) foot.
Neil Davis

Dr Neil Davis said: "To save footprints, you need the right type of environment. The earth should be" sticky "enough so that the foot leaves a mark, but it is not so wet that it will be washed away. You need such a balance to capture them and save them. "

Shilito said: "Like the great abundance and variety of these fingerprints, we also see absolutely amazing details. You can clearly see the texture of the skin and stairs, as well as the four-year nail nails that are very rare."

"You can get an idea of ​​what dinosaurs have made from the shape of your feet – comparing them with what we know about the legs of the dinosaur from other fossils allows you to identify important similarities." "When you also look at footsteps from other locations, you can start to blend which types are key players. "

"Given the great size of many dinosaurs, it is very likely that they have hit rivers in a similar way, but it's difficult to find a" smoking gun "because most feet will just wash them. However, we see some minor evidence of their influence, in some of the deeper footsteps, we can notice the shrubs of growing plants. We have also found evidence of footprints along the banks of the river channels, so that it is possible for dinosaurs to play a role in the creation of these channels. "

Shilito is now studying how dinosaurs can affect the flow of rivers. In modern times, large animals, such as hypopotamuses or cows, can create small canals, diverting some of the flow of the river.

The results are published in the journal Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology.

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