Grallator (Megapnosaurus)

 

Grallator (Megapnosaurus)

Grallator (Megapnosaurus)

Grallator is an ichnogenus representative of a bipedal theropod dinosaur which roamed the supercontinent Pangea in the Late Triassic and the Early Jurassic.  The trackmaker likely resembled Coelophysis.
The name Grallator translates into “stilt walker”, although the actual length of its legs is unknown because the exact species of dinosaur that made the tracks has not been identified. The prefix “Grallae” refers to the group of birds that includes storks and herons. These footprints were given this name by their discover, Edward Hitchcock, in 1858.
Grallator footprints are three-toed (tridactyl) and range from 5 to 15 centimeters (or 2 to 6 inches) long. They are found in the United States, Canada and Europe but are most abundant on the east coast of North America Though the tracks show only three toes, the trackmakers likely had five toes on their feet.  The outer two digits were stubby and ineffective, not touching the ground during walking or running.
Despite losing most of their effectiveness, dinosaur evolution had not yet removed the these digits to fully streamline the foot. This is known because rare specimens are found with traces of these outer digits. 
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Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 2:08 PM  Comments Off on Grallator (Megapnosaurus)  
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