Dinosaurs the Size of Sparrows Once Roamed South Korea
Dinosaur tracks uncovered in South Korea have been identified as belonging to sparrow-sized dinosaur raptors, marking the smallest prints of their kind, according to latest Australian-linked research.
"These 110-million-year-old footprints and trackways were made by carnivorous dinosaurs commonly known as raptors," University of Queensland researcher Dr Anthony Romilio, who was part of an international team of paleontologists behind the discovery, said in a statement on Friday.
"These new tracks are just one centimeter in length, which means the dinosaur that made them was an animal you could have easily held in your hand. They are the world's smallest dinosaur tracks." Anthony said.
According to the statement, to estimate the size of the dinosaur, Anthony's team measured the length of the fossil footprints and multiplied the value by 4.5 to get an approximate hip height. The team's findings were published in online scientific journal Scientific Reports.
The tracks were first spotted by Professor Kyung Soo Kim from South Korea's Chinju National University of Education.
The Cretaceous lake deposits at the discovery site created ideal conditions that allowed for the preservation of tiny footprints rarely found elsewhere, the professor said.
"In addition to tiny dinosaur tracks, we have footprints made by birds, pterosaurs, lizards, turtles, mammals and even frogs," he said.
"We have named these small tracks Dromaeosaur iformipes rarus, which means rare footprints made by a member of the raptor family known as dromaeosaurs," he added.