A group of researchers found two traces of footprints from dinosaurs theropods of 120 million years ago in Spain, and determined that the speed at which these creatures ran was up to 48 kilometers per hour.
Theropods were carnivorous dinosaurs that ran on two legs, belonging to the same group as the T. Rex. Their feet had three toes with sharp claws, similar to those of some dinosaurs such as velociraptors.
They locate fast dinosaur tracks
The findings, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, reveal one of the fastest known sets of fossilized dinosaur footprints. These tracks join the ranks of other sets of fast tracks found in Utah and Texas, one of which shows dinosaurs running at speeds of more than 30 miles per hour.
It should be mentioned that the tracks located in Spain showed speeds of almost 45 kilometers per hour.
In the case of the theropod that made the largest pair of tracks, which they called La Torre 6A-14, it ran between 23.3 and 37.2 kilometers per hour. This is one of the fastest calculated theropod running speeds, according to the study.
While the owner of the smallest footprints, which were called La Torre 6B-1, outperformed the other theropod at speeds of between 31.7 and 44.6 kilometers per hour.
How do you calculate the speed of dinosaurs?
The researchers report that, to calculate running speed, the length of the footprint must be measured taking into account the height of the hip and the length of the dinosaur’s stride, the distance between two consecutive tracks of the same foot.
All of the fastest known sets of impressions come from a family of dinosaurs called theropods. These carnivorous dinosaurs stood on two legs and could not fly, like the famous velociraptor.
The animals that created the most recent prints were likely five to six and a half feet tall and 13 to 16 feet long from mouth to tail, the researchers estimated.
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