Herbivorous dinosaurs-sauropods, which are considered the largest land creatures in Earth’s history, had a special structure of the foot.
Probably went “on tiptoe”, found researchers from the University of Queensland.
They studied the remains of the only Australian Jurassic sauropod, Rhoetosaurus brownei, to understand how such a massive creature could withstand its own weight.
“What is our life? Game!”“World mind games”: a premiere at the World Preserved bones showed that the “heel” of the dinosaur was raised with respect to the front part of the foot, said Phys.org.
With this structure of the limbs he could move only under one condition – if the heel was supported with a soft fleshy cushion.
Similar way look like the feet of modern elephants, the sauropods but was five times heavier and, therefore, their skeleton needed additional protection.
Scientists have constructed a copy of a dinosaur and tried to recreate his gait. The study was also used 3D modeling.
They also examined traces of other sauropods, lived on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago.
“Shock-absorbing cushion that supports the heel raised, apparently, is the key evolutionary innovation of sauropods. She probably came from early members of the group in the middle Jurassic,” explained the study authors.
Probably this feature and helped them to achieve such impressive weight.
Interestingly, the study sauropods lived 160-170 million years ago when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondwana.
Another study has shown that tyrannosaurs, despite the impressive size, was very agile and could even make pirouettes.