Dinosaurs & Reptiles

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The term Skartopus refers to the footprints made by a small Theropod dinosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous Period. This Theropod belonged to a group of dinosaurs called 'Coelurosaurs'. They were small carnivores, and may have eaten insects, frogs and small reptiles. The tracks that they left are about the size of tracks made by common chickens, so scientists have calculated that they would have been about 20cm high at the hip. They also walked and ran on their hind legs, and would have used their speed to hunt and to escape from predators.

Skartopus australis was named by Thulborn and Wade in 1984. It is considered to be a form taxon. It is a trace fossil. Its type locality is Lark Quarry dinosaur tracksite, which is in a Cenomanian lacustrine sandstone/claystone in the Winton Formation of Australia. It is the type species of Skartopus. It was assigned to Theropoda by Lockley in 1992 and Gierlinski et al. in 2009.


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