Ancient footprints have provided compelling evidence that some
dinosaurs were able to swim, scientists report.
The 15m (50ft) trackway that reveals one animal's underwater
odyssey was discovered in the Cameros Basin in Spain, which was once a vast
The S-shaped prints suggest the beast clawed at sediment on the
lake floor as it swam in about 3m (10ft) of water.
The marks are about 125 million years old, dating to the Early
Cretaceous, the team wrote in the journal 'Geology'.
They were left by a large, bipedal, carnivorous dinosaur.
"We came across them about three or four years ago," explained
Dr Loic Costeur, a palaeontologist at the University of Nantes,
France, and a co-author of the paper.
"The Cameros Basin has thousands of walking footprints from
diverse dinosaur fauna, but when we saw these it was obvious
straightaway that this was a swimming dinosaur."
The underwater trackway, which is well-preserved in sandstone,
is made up of twelve consecutive prints each consisting of two to three
"The footprints are really peculiar in their shape and
morphology - they are not at all like walking footprints," Dr
"In walking footprints, you can recognise the shape of the foot;
but here it is not at all the case: it is sets of grooves on the