PALEONTOLOGISTS studying a series of fossilized footsteps unearthed in Spain’s Las Hoyas have discovered more about a lopsided dinosaur that was pretty clumsy on its feet.

Studying the footsteps, researchers at the Autonomous University in Madrid found the marks were left by a theropod with an injured left foot 129 million years ago.

According to the latest research, while tracks made with the right foot clearly show all three toes, the prints made with the left foot show an injury or deformity to the innermost toe.

The footprints belonged to a species of theropod, three-toed meat-eaters that include the Tyrannosaurus Rex. However, while tracks made with the right foot clearly show all three toes, the prints made with the left foot show an injury or deformity to the innermost toe.

Lead author Dr Carlos Herrera-Castillo, said: “The footprints are spaced more widely than typical theropod tracks, indicating this dinosaur adjusted its gait to compensate for its injured foot.”

He added: “The innermost toe on the left foot is represented only by extremely short and irregularly shaped markings in the sediment, indicating an injury or deformity in that toe.

“All the footprints of the left foot show this deformity – differing from the right footprints.

“Furthermore, the footprints are spaced more widely than typical theropod tracks, indicating this dinosaur adjusted its gait to compensate for its injured foot.

“This is further supported by certain deformations in the right footprints which suggest the animal was putting more weight on that side.”

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