London: Two carnivorous dinosaurs strolled along the beach in what is now Germany 142 million years ago, says a new study based on an analysis of fossilised footprints of the giant animals.
They were in no hurry, they almost strolled along, leaving their footprints in the wet sand. Their average speed was 6.3 km/h for the big one and 9.7 km/hour for the little one, said biologist Pernille Veno Troelsen from the University of Southern Denmark.
It is notably slow for a carnivorous dinosaur that can run at more than 40 km/hour, Troelsen noted.
Based on an analysis of the footsteps she concluded that the two animals measured respectively 1.6 meters and 1.1 meters at hip height, and that they were probably carnivorous dinosaurs of the species Megalosauripus.
The footprints that Troelsen investigated were excavated in the period 2009-11 in Buckeberg Formation in Munchehagen in Germany.
“As a biologist, I can contribute with knowledge about the behaviour of the individual animals” explained Troelsen.
These carnivorous dinosaurs were agile hunters who walked and ran on two legs, Troelsen determined.
Dinosaur footprints have been found in several European countries, especially England, Germany and Spain which have hundreds of footprints of carnivorous dinosaurs, from 140-145 million years ago.