A Tale of Tail Traces
At the barest level, dinosaur bones record death and postmortem transformation. How the animal lived only becomes apparent through the clues we coax from prehistoric remains. Tracks and traces, on the other claw, are manifestations of life. Dinosaur sign, preserved as impressions in stone, record fleeting moments of anatomy in action. And within the library of fossilized behavior studied and cataloged so far, there is a small number of traces that record something that might seem unexpected within the imagery of the thoroughly modern dinosaur – tail marks.
Dinosaurs were not habitual tail-draggers. This isn’t news. In the 1970s, on the basis of anatomical and trackway evidence, paleontologists lifted the tails of dinosaurs to balance well clear of the ground. Some,