Scientists have just discovered that crocodiles may have walked on two legs at one time in history, so welcome to Jurassic Park, baby.
The discovery was made by South Korean and Australian palaeontologists while they were analysing fossil footprints of the Batrachopus grandis. The bipedal crocodilian footprints studied are from over 100 million years ago. The devil-looking creature lived approximately 110 million years ago during what is now known as the Cretaceous period.
If you’re wondering how they knew this dinosaur-looking creature moved, they clued in to the fact that the animal walked bipedally after noticing the lack of a tail-drag mark.
“Typical crocodiles walk in a squat stance and create trackways that are wide,” lead author of the study Kyung Soo Kim said in a press release, according to Gizmodo. “Oddly, our trackways are very narrow looking — more like a crocodile balancing on a tight-rope. When combined with the lack of any tail-drag marks, it became clear that these creatures were moving bipedally. They were moving in the same way as many dinosaurs, but the footprints were not made by dinosaurs. Dinosaurs and their bird descendants walk on their toes. Crocodiles walk on the flat of their feet leaving clear heel impressions, like humans do.”
In some truly Jurassic Park-y news, the footprints were originally thought to be that of a flying pterosaur but were later to found to be a bipedal crocodile after palaeontologists further analysed the heel-to-toe footprints.
But if it’s dinosaur-looking appearance wasn’t enough to make you glad this animal has gone extinct, it also grew to be 3 metres long and could run as well as an ostrich, according to palaeontologists.