The ancient ancestors of crocodiles reached 4 meters and walked on two legs

Fossilized footprints have been found in the Jinju Formation in South Korea, which lead the scientific community to a standstill. They date back to the period 110-120 million years ago, have a length of 18-24 cm, and by all indications they belong to the ancient species of crocodiles. However, scientists found only traces of hind paws, from which they made an amazing conclusion - these creatures moved on two legs.

The team led by Kyun Soo Kim carefully checked the find and found many similarities with the footprints of crocodiles. The same depressions and tubercles, the same flatfoot effect, the same number of toes. With the established age of the appearance of crocodiles about 80 million years ago, this creature may well be their distant ancestor. But where is the second pair of legs?

There is a version that the ancient crocodile simply stepped on the trail, but then they would be trampled, and not whole. The next argument is that crocodiles have a wide step, their legs are bent when walking, and the tail sweeps the ground. But on the found prints, everything is different, they are located too close to each other, plus no traces of a tail or other limb on which to lean.

So it turns out that, with a high probability, the animal that left traces was bipedal. The legs were the size of human, the ancient crocodile itself reached 3-4 m in length. The creature was named Batrachopus grandis.