Ancient footprints in S. Korea likely belong to prehistoric two-legged crocodile
Updated: 2020-06-28 09:17:14 KST
In the city of Sacheon in Gyeongsangnam-do Province, are the footprints of a mysterious creature.
According to an international team of scientists, the well-preserved footprints might have belonged to an ancestor of crocodiles that walked upright on two legs more than 100 million years ago.
The absence of front footprints or imprints of tails and the narrowness of the trackway led to such a conclusion.
Although no remains of the ancient reptile have been found, the researchers have named the creature Batrachopus grandis.
The footprints were 18 to 24 centimeters in length, indicating a body length of up to three meters.
Of the four toes, the first is the smallest and third is the longest, the same as those of a modern crocodile.
And the diamond and oval-shaped skin marks on the fossil correspond to the modern crocodile's sole pattern.
A fossil of a skeleton of a two-legged crocodile has already been found in the U.S., but this is the first trace of such a creature in Korea.
"This represents the first discovery and important academic evidence of a two-legged giant crocodile that survived for a long time in the Cretaceous Period on the Korean Peninsula."
The researchers added that crocodiles of various forms lived around the lake along with dinosaurs, pterodactyls, mammals, frogs and lizards 110 million years ago in the Jinju and Sacheon areas of the Korean Peninsula.
The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.