Sauropods had soft foot pads to help support their massive weight - Ars Technica

Sauropods had soft foot pads to help support their massive weight - Ars Technica

Sauropods had soft foot pads to help support their massive weight - Ars Technica
Aug 11, 2022 42 secs

Prior assessments of the sauropod's likely speed had been largely based on studying bone histology and evidence from trace fossils (especially footprints).

The digital skeleton took into account the location (and layering) of muscles and joints when calculating the animal's gait and speed.

Many paleontologists had assumed that sauropods walked with a gait similar to elephants.

But a study published earlier this year by British scientists challenged that assumption, arguing that the sauropod frame was too wide to maintain balance with such a gait.

As for the elephant, its gait was actually the opposite of a sauropod.

Elephants move laterally, but if sauropods walked that way, there would be too much swaying from side to side for stable locomotion.

Instead, the sauropods likely walked with a diagonal gait, with the front foot touching the ground just before the opposite hind foot.

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