Recently, some new footprints have been detected in the fossils from the Pyrenees Mountains. The footprints are said to be of some mysterious reptile that walked around 250 million years ago.
The researchers led by Eudald Mujal of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, inspected the fossilized footprints that are from approximately 247 to 248 million years old, discovered in the Pyrenees Mountains in Catalonia. Their research is published in the journal Plos One.
Mujal informed, “These tracks represent the first evidence of the vertebrate recovery of the End-Permian extinction.”
According to the scientists, this class of reptiles is a member of the group that produced the crocodiles and dinosaurs.
The finding might be able to throw light upon how various groups of animals evolved and spread. Per BBC News, the mysterious reptile was alive at the time when the planet Earth was on the road to recovery from the mass extinction that cleared out 90% of the animal species.
The researchers discovered that many tracks were created by the ancestors of dinosaurs and crocodiles, archosauromorphs, who are also thought to dominate the river beds of ancient Pyrenees. While some prints measured half a meter in length, few are also longer than three meters.
Among those, a new footprint was found which is considered to be of new reptile species namely the Prorotodactylus mesaxonichnus.
The new species might be related to the Euparkeria, a group of dinosaur relatives that are known from the same era in Poland, China, South Africa and Russia.
Josep Fortuny, a co-researcher believed that the footprints indicated that the animals measuring about half a meter used all four limbs to walk and at times left marks with their tails too.
He stated, “Some footprints point to the possibility of bipedal locomotion in specific moments with the aim of moving faster.”
Mujal also mentioned that research is in progress regarding the fossilized bones of the mysterious species that was responsible for the tracks and footprints.
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