Dinos may have sped from Scotland to North America 165 million years agoJuly 14th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by ANI
Edinburgh, July 14 (ANI): Paleontologists have found near-identical dinosaur footprints dating back to 165 million years in Skyes Trotternish peninsula in Scotland and the arid plains of Wyoming in the US, which suggests that the prehistoric creatures roamed the same landscape before the continents drifted apart and the Atlantic Ocean was formed.
According to a report in the Scotsman, dinosaur expert Dr Neil Clark of Glasgows Hunterian Museum believes that the two areas have compelling prehistoric connections.
The dinosaur footprints in Red Gulch are very similar to those found near Staffin on Skye. They are both of exactly the same age, said Clark.
At the time they were made, Skye was a lot closer to what is now North America and may have allowed a migration of dinosaurs between Skye and America, he added.
During the Middle Jurassic era, Scotland and North America are believed to have been part of the supercontinent Pangaea.
During that time, the areas of land that eventually became Scotland and Wyoming were still 2,500 miles apart, but Clark notes that is less than the annual distance travelled by modern day caribou.
Dr Michael Brett-Surman, a dinosaur expert at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, said that the possibility of dinosaurs travelling between Skye and Wyoming could not be ruled out.
The academic, who has named four dinosaurs and has visited the site on Skye, said, It is physically possible because at that time all the continents were connected as Pangaea.
The prints on Skye and those in Wyoming are extremely similar. Both areas were in the same bio-geographic province, he added.
The footprints found in both Skye and Wyoming are believed to have been created by theropods, tiny scavenging dinosaurs with curved, dagger-like teeth and claws for eating flesh.
The prints were produced by both adult and juvenile dinosaurs, demonstrating that the creatures lived in family groups and looked after their young.
Theropods are similar to the vicious velociraptors, meaning speedy predator, which were shown in the film Jurassic Park. (ANI)
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