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These tracks provide insight into the running speed of some dinosaurs

Theropod dinosaurs do not run as fast as some of the larger modern predators. However, you will not weigh it all. Footprints analyzed in Spain tens of thousands of years ago actually testify to the running speed of some carnivores.

Locomotion ability of dinosaurs Theropods Non-birds are still questioning researchers who specialize in paleobiology. How did they move? How fast can they run? Over the years, these questions have been approached from different angles, based on anatomical models (morphology, muscle connections, etc.) and biochemical models derived from anatomy (mass, force, and range of motion).

Analyzing their footprints is another way to better understand how therapods moved, which leads us to this study.

Two tracks, two dinosaurs

Published as part of this work Natural, A team led by Pablo Navarro-Lorbase from the University of La Rioja in La Ro, Spain focused on two isolated footprints on a site in La Rioja. These two trails, embedded in the fluffy mud of an ancient lake bed during the early Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago), provide a unique snapshot of the movement and behavior of these dinosaurs.

One of these tracks, nicknamed La Torre 6A-14, protects five to three fingerprints. Each is approximately 12 ” long and 12 ” wide. The second lane, the La Torre 6B-1, has seven to three fingerprints, approximately 11 inches long and 10 inches wide.

Based on the size of the prints, the researchers estimate the waist height at 1.1 to 1.4 m. According to these estimates, these animals would have been approximately measured Two meters high Average Four to five meters From muzzle to tail end.

One of the tracks from Runway 6A. The scale is ten centimeters. Credit: Pablo Navarro-Lorbés

At about 45 km / h

Although it is not possible to identify the species involved here, the similarities between the footprints suggest that these two dinosaurs belong to the same taxonomic group. According to the study, they were not birds, they were very active.

To calculate the running speed of these theropods, the researchers used a formula that included the height of the hips and the length of the dinosaurs. These calculations made it possible not only to calculate the velocity of these animals at each step, but also to detect variations in velocity.

According to the analysis, one of these dinosaurs will accelerate and reach a steady pace while running. 37 km / h at maximum speed, When one has reached the other 44.6 km / h at maximum speed Before falling fast. According to the authors, these are some of the highest speeds ever calculated in therapods. In comparison, the fastest speed ever recorded in a human race is 44.3 km / h, the shortest ever achieved in 2009 by the Sprinter Usain Bolt.