Researchers have found footprints of two carnivourousdinosaurs which strolled around Germany 142 million years ago and have provided insights into their daily life.
Biologist Pernille Veno Troelsen of University of Southern Denmark, who analysed the footprints, said that one of the dinosaurs was large, the other one was small. They were in no hurry, they almost stroll along, leaving their footprints in the wet sand.
A few times the small one had to trot in order to catch up with the big one. Their average speed was 6.3 km/ h for the big one and 9.7 km/hour for the little one. It was notably slow for a carnivorous dinosaur that can run with more than 40 km/hour.
The ca. 50 footprints investigated were excavated in the period 2009-11 in Buckeberg Formation in Munchehagen in Germany, ca. 50 km from Hannover. For more than 200 years footprints and tracks of footprints have been found here.
Troelsen said that as a biologist, she can contribute with knowledge about behavior of the individual animals.
She concluded that the two animals measured respectively 1.6 meters and 1.1 meters at hip height, were probably carnivorous dinosaurs of the species Megalosauripus.
According to Troelsen, the little one occasionally crossed its legs on its way probably because it lost its balance because it was slippery, the wind was strong, it found something to eat, or maybe it wanted to stick close to the big one.
She said that this might illustrate two social animals, perhaps a parent and a young.
A growing number of findings point to the fact that several dinosaur species were social animals and maybe hunted together and took care of their offspring after they were hatched.
Troelsen further said that they could see that a duckbill dinosaur (Iguanodon) has crossed their tracks at one time or another, so there has been some traffic in the area.