It is odd that, in some places, theropod trackways seem to be inordinately numerous relative to those of other dinosaurs, more than the predator/prey ratios of skeletons would indicate.2u Even low metabolic rate cold-blooded predators cannot make so much of a fauna’s population. Animatronic Dinosaur One explanation is that the theropods constantly patrolled the shorelines of watercourses-which is where footprints are best made and preserved-looking to pick up things drifting ashore or for herbivores to ambush as they made periodic forays to the shoreline for a drink.
Which brings us to another point, the theropod’s long sup posed hydrophobia. The genesis of this sorry idea was a suggestion in the 1800s that the slender-toed theropods were unable to walk on soft muds as well as the broader-footed herbivorous species, so the latter supposedly fled the former by dashing into the water. Walking dinosaur costume This idea soon became entrenched in the literature as a full-fledged refusal of theropods to go into water-animals that fought brontosaurs in fear of a swim! It is a belief that never deserved serious consideration, yet was hardly questioned for decades. The reality is that almost any animal will swim well if you throw it into the water. Many wild cats and dogs are quite pleased to swim, and Robert Bakker made the pertinent observation that big ground birds are very good at it too.27 In fact, the long, slender toes, powerful limbs, and supple tails show that theropods were better at mud walking and swimming than the stumpier-footed, stiffer-tailed herbivores.2s Panicked dinosaurian herbivores probably did splash into the water on occasion, only to find that they then had no escape or defense from their pursuers,just as wildebeests that flee into water are invariably dispatched by faster swimming hyenas.2e Most theropods probably swam with their hind limbs and a sculling action of the tail. Because the chest was filled with lungs, they swam hip-heavy, with the head held clear of the water. confirmation of the theropods’ swimming ability may come from walter Coomb’s description of what appear to be swimming theropod trackways, in which only the tips of the claws touched bottom and left scratch markso . Even better is the Alberta set of trackways that may show a trio of theropods pursuing some iguanodonts up ouf of the water, the exact opposite of the old the prey escaped into the water belief.