Researchers have found new evidence that terrestrial dinosaurs were capable of swimming, now that a large number of theropod dinosaur fossils have been unearthed in Chicheng County of North China's Hebei Province, reported the Science and Technology Daily.
The discovery was made by a group of paleontologists from China, the U.S., Canada and Poland during a field study at the Phoenix Mountain area in Chicheng. An article published in the October issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology depicted the precious specimens.
Since 2009, Jerry D. Harris, professor and director of Paleontology at Dixie State College of Utah (St. George) and Xing Lida, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta, have been investigating fossilized footprints at Phoenix Mountain with the help of the local land department.
This time, with more paleontologists joining the group, they happened upon some unusual fossilized dinosaur footprints with only toes, but no heels.
According to the experts, the Phoenix Mountain area was once an ancient lake and home to a rich variety of vegetation about 130 to 140 million years ago during the Jurassic-Cretaceous age. Many dinosaurs lived in the area, and some were good at swimming as they sought out food in the water.
The topic of whether dinosaurs could swim has been long debated and researched. The researchers said that their findings represent the first evidence found in China documenting the behavior.