Edmonton – Scientists have seemingly figured out what helped dinosaurs go bipedal – walk on two legs.
According to a team of researchers from University of Alberta, Canada, bipedalism in dinosaurs was inherited from ancient and much smaller proto-dinosaurs and this was a part of evolution that took millions of years. According to
researchers, proto-dinosaurs had powerful and big muscles in their tails and this helped the early dinosaurs to move about on all fours and rise up on just their two back feet.
“The tails of proto-dinosaurs had big, leg-powering muscles,” Scott Persons, postdoctoral fellow at University of Alberta in Canada said. According to Persons, the muscle mass in their tails provided dinosaurs the strength and power that was required by them to stand on and move around with their two back feet.
Researchers add that such a behaviour and effect is seen in many modern day lizards around the world that stand up on their two rear feet and even run.
Over time, proto-dinosaurs evolved to run faster and for longer distances. Adaptations like hind limb elongation allowed ancient dinosaurs to run faster, while smaller forelimbs helped to reduce body weight and improve balance, according to the study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Eventually, some proto-dinosaurs gave up quadrupedal walking altogether. The research also debunks theories that early proto-dinosaurs stood on two legs for the sole purpose of freeing their hands for use in catching prey.