BBC NEWS ONLINE: Fossil tracks left by an ancient crocodile that 'ran like an ostrich'

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 11/6/2020

Description

Prof Phil Manning from the University of Manchester, UK, was not part of the discovery team. As a fossil trackway specialist himself, he described the prints as "very interesting" and welcomed their publication to begin a discussion - but he doubted the interpretation.

"For me, the tracks just don't fit the overall geometry of a crocodilian and what it's capable of producing," he told BBC News.

"Look at any videos of living crocs and the rotation of their feet when they're galloping: it's outwards, not inwards towards the midline of the trackway. Just from their orientation, it looks more like some kind of dinosaurian track-maker to me. But whether it's a croc - unfortunately, we just don't have the fossil bones to tell us."

Media coverage

TitleFossil tracks left by an ancient crocodile that 'ran like an ostrich'
Media name/outletBBC News Online
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date11/06/20
DescriptionProf Phil Manning from the University of Manchester, UK, was not part of the discovery team. As a fossil trackway specialist himself, he described the prints as "very interesting" and welcomed their publication to begin a discussion - but he doubted the interpretation.

"For me, the tracks just don't fit the overall geometry of a crocodilian and what it's capable of producing," he told BBC News.

"Look at any videos of living crocs and the rotation of their feet when they're galloping: it's outwards, not inwards towards the midline of the trackway. Just from their orientation, it looks more like some kind of dinosaurian track-maker to me. But whether it's a croc - unfortunately, we just don't have the fossil bones to tell us."
URLhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53011567
PersonsPhillip Manning