Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Trotting with Emus to Walk with Dinosaurs (University of Wyoming)

October 24, 2006: Trotting with Emus to Walk with Dinosaurs - One way to make sense of 165-million-year-old dinosaur tracks may be to hang out with emus, say paleontologists studying thousands of dinosaur footprints at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite in northern Wyoming.

Because they are about the same size, walk on two legs and have similar feet, emus turn out to be the best modern version of the enigmatic reptiles that once trotted along a long-lost coastline in the Middle Jurassic.

'We don't have any documented dinosaur bones and teeth from that period in North America, except for some very scrappy material from Mexico,' said Brent Breithaupt, curator and director of the University of Wyoming's Geological Museum. That makes it very hard to connect the tracks to a particular dinosaur. And of course, 'We unfortunately can't go out and see walking dinosaurs today. Or can we?' [Paleontology, Palaeontology, Geology]
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