By Jennifer Lilonsky ( | First Posted: Apr 09, 2013 05:25 PM EDT

(Photo : Reuters )

The question of whether dinosaurs were able to swim around efficiently has existed for quite some time, but new research suggests that it may be true.

A graduate student from the University of Alberta, Scott Persons, was conducting research last summer in the Szechuan Province of China when he discovered evidence that may prove dinosaurs were actually good swimmers.

Persons, whose research was published in the journal Chinese Science Bulletin, found claw marks from dinosaurs at the bottom of a river bed that seemingly demonstrated the swimming motion known as a dog paddle.

"It is not a surprise some could swim, but what is significant is that they would swim for a quite a while," Persons said.

The markings were observed for a distance of 15 meters, or just under 50 feet, and signify that the dinos were able to use coordinated leg motions to travel through water, according to the researchers.

Persons believes the marks that were uncovered belong to a feathered Sinocalliopteryx--an early tyrannosaur that existed in that region of China over 100 million years ago.

Fossilized footprints from sauropods and ornithopods were also found next to the claw marks.

"We found evidence of six or eight individual animals, all headed in the same direction, moving together as if they were part of a herd," Persons said.

"It looks as if they used the river bank as a superhighway."

Persons said that he plans to conduct more research in the region.

"It is a really spectacular area," he said. "We are not done with it yet."


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