Two-Toed Footprint – Evidence that Dromaeosaurs stalked Ancient Korea
Reports have been circulated that a researcher from the Korean National University of Education has discovered a two-toed dinosaur footprint. Only one family of dinosaurs is known to have made two-toed prints, the bipedal dromaeosaurs (the family is Dromaeosauridae means “swift lizards”). Members of the Dromaeosauridae include animals such as Velociraptor, Deinonychus and Utahraptor. A trace fossil such as a two-toed print is indicative of a dromaeosaur. These animals did have three toes that reached the ground, but the claw on the second toe was raised when it walked, keeping it sharp and pointed. This was the infamous “sickle claw”. Hence when these animals walked or ran, only two-toed prints were left behind.
This trace fossil was found in South Gyeongsang Province. It is relatively small when compared to other theropod footprints, measuring 15.5 cm in length with a width of 8.4 cm, but this is a significant find as dromaeosaur trackways, like most meat-eater trackways are very rare when compared to the tracks made by herbivores. This phenomenon is due to the fact that there are more prey animals around at any one time than predators. This is the first evidence of dromaeosaurs in Korea, the strata in which the print was found has been dated to 100 million years ago.
This print proves that there were small “raptor-like” dinosaurs in Korea during the Cretaceous.
Recently, a dromaeosaur trackway was unearthed in China, it may indicate social, pack behaviour. To read more about this discovery: