Dinosaurs: Could They Swim?

Dinosaurs may have disappeared long ago, yet they continue to tease our curiosity, imagination, myths, and of course, our paleontologists. Everything we need to know, or want to know about dinosaurs can be found thanks to them, but that is not all, for there are numerous other discoveries to be made, or are in the process of being unravelled. For instance, there is this ongoing debate about the swimming abilities of the dinosaur. While researchers are divided on the subject, the past few years were riddled with many assumptions, which were made from the discovery of ancient footprints. Take a look at some of the significant discoveries, and some disappointing myth-bustings as well.

While there are several instances of previously held notions being refuted, the case of the Mayan Ranch Trackway and the 113 year old slab can be mentioned. Paleontologist R.T. Bird found the slab containing the front foot impressions of a sauropod dinosaur back in the 1930s, and partial impressions of a hind foot, leading to the assumption that dinosaurs did swim. However, this theory has many loopholes, firstly, due to the lack of ample evidence, and secondly, the partial impressions may have been there not because of a dinosaur swimming, but because of its physical structure.

But this isn't the end of those prehistoric creatures' rendezvous with swimming, as researchers back in 2006 again found tracks, alongwith 10,000 other fossil footprints. The well-preserved La Virgen del Campo site in Spain, where a rock from the Cretaceous period had marks, suggested that the prints must have belonged to a very large animal, most probably the tyrannosaurus rex, as was evident from it being 50 ft long. The prints which were made about 100 million years ago, in a lake with a depth of 10 ft, were made when the dinosaur swam against a strong current! Theropods weren't considered much when it came to water, but this new evidence suggested otherwise.

Well, it seems that there is more to dinosaurs than what meets the eye. Or fossils. Researchers still can't get over their obsession with these prehistoric creatures, and rightly so. We now know that the theropods were quite good in water. But then it remains to be seen what new evidence comes along, to either approve or reject this theory.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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