Abstract

Drone footage of a large American crocodile bottom walking in shallow coastal water off Costa Rica was used to estimate oblique pace and stride lengths and pace angulations from autopodial touchdowns. The crocodile's pes stride lengths were longer but more variable than expected for an individual of comparable size high-walking on land, due in part to punting locomotion, but also to wave action moving the reptile's body. Pace angulations were also larger than expectations for a crocodile high walking on land. These features are also seen in fossil trackways, suggesting that trackways ascribed to “swimming” crocodylomorphs might better be characterized as made by bottom walking and punting reptiles.

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