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Some species of ancient crocodiles of more than three metres in length, walked on its two hind legs as if they were dinosaurs. This is the amazing conclusion of an international group of paleontologists after analyzing nearly a hundred fossilized footprints in South Korea which had previously been attributed to a few flying reptiles called pterosaurs.

The footprints of 24 inches in length and about 120 million years old were discovered in the formation of Korean Jinju in the Lower Cretaceous. In the beginning, as counted in “Scientific Reports”, the researchers believed that they had been left by large pterosaur bipedal walking in the salt marsh. The animals must have legs of approximately the same length as the legs of an adult human. “We estimate that measured three meters,” says Anthony Romilio, a paleontologist from the University of Queensland. “And although the footprints of the hind legs were everywhere on the site, there was no sign of the front,” he says.

Size of the crocodile compared to that of a human adult – Anthony RomilioApoyados in the heel

The research team, led by professor Kyung Soo Kim of the National University of Education Chinju, soon found clues to why there were no traces of “hands”. The impressions could not have been the work of dinosaurs, as these are walking on tiptoe, and the creatures that passed through it is supported in the heel, as humans do. “They moved in the same way that many dinosaurs, but the footprints were not made by them,” says Kim.

they Were crocodiles. And they walked on two legs.

This is unheard of because although paleontologists knew that some of the crocodiles of the dinosaur era were more adapted to life in the land that their relatives modern, these were small animals about a meter long, with footprints showing that they walked on four legs.

“The crocodiles typical walk in a squat position and to create pathways that are wide -the researcher explains-, interestingly, our roads have a very narrow, more like a crocodile balancing on a tightrope”. This, plus the lack of markings of drag of the tail, it was obvious that these creatures were moving, so the biped. It was of a species called Batrachopus grandis.

Tracks left by crocodiles, bipedal in South Korea – Seoul My BaeViaje group

“The fossil footprints of crocodiles are quite rare in Asia, so finding an abundance of almost one hundred footsteps was extraordinary,” says Romilio. “While an animal is walking, the hind legs have the potential to enter into the print made by the front and ‘sobreimprimirlas’, but we did not find evidence of this on these sites koreans,” he adds. Nor is it due to a bad conservation, as these fossils are, in the words of the researcher, “spectacular, even preserved the fine detail of the pads and the scales on the soles of the feet.” There are even pathways in parallel that show that the crocodiles could have traveled in social groups, like their cousins the dinosaurs.