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Re: Dinosaur footprint trackway found

On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Dann Pigdon wrote:
Quoting Richard Hing <Richard.Hing@port.ac.uk>:

There's pictures here of some of the tail drags from the sauropod:


I also remember hearing about other trackways that show the same thing as
well. I thought that dinosaurs were meant to keep their tails up off the
ground? It seems a simple point but I've never heard it mentioned. Is there
an explanation?

There may have been less impetus to keep the tail aloft in soft mud than over rougher, more abrasive terrain. Having the tail contact the ground in muddy conditions may even have helped - a sauropod in slippery mud may have needed as much contact with the substrate as possible to prevent them slipping over. Spreading some of the weight of their hind quarters on the tail may also have helped prevent their hind legs from sinking too far into the mud.

Wouldn't the tail impressions have been deeper then?