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The latest succession of dinosaur tracksites in Europe: Hadrosaur ichnology, track production and palaeoenvironments.

Vila B, Oms O, Fondevilla V, Gaete R, Galobart A, Riera V, Canudo JI - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The hadrosaur tracks are significantly smaller in size than, but morphologically similar to, those of North America and Asia and are attributable to the ichnogenus Hadrosauropodus.The track succession, with more than 40 distinct track levels, indicates that hadrosaur footprints in the Ibero-Armorican region occur predominantly in the late Maaastrichtian (at least above the early Maastrichtian-late Maastrichtian boundary).The highest abundance is found noticeably found in the late Maastrichtian, with tracks occurring in the C29r magnetochron, within about the latest 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Grupo Aragosaurus-IUCA, Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain ; Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
A comprehensive review and study of the rich dinosaur track record of the Tremp Formation in the southern Pyrenees of Spain (Southwestern Europe) shows a unique succession of footprint localities prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event. A description of some 30 new tracksites and data on sedimentary environments, track occurrence and preservation, ichnology and chronostratigraphy are provided. These new track localities represent various facies types within a diverse set of fluvial environments. The footprint discoveries mostly represent hadrosaurian and, less abundantly, to sauropod dinosaurs. The hadrosaur tracks are significantly smaller in size than, but morphologically similar to, those of North America and Asia and are attributable to the ichnogenus Hadrosauropodus. The track succession, with more than 40 distinct track levels, indicates that hadrosaur footprints in the Ibero-Armorican region occur predominantly in the late Maaastrichtian (at least above the early Maastrichtian-late Maastrichtian boundary). The highest abundance is found noticeably found in the late Maastrichtian, with tracks occurring in the C29r magnetochron, within about the latest 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.

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Track occurrence in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Underneath views of overhanging ledges in the Iscles-3, Cingles del Boixader, La Mata del Viudà, and Masia de Ramon Petjades localities, respectively. (E and F) Cross-sectional outcrop views in the La Pleta Nord and Serraduy Sur localities, respectively. (G and H) Plan view outcrops in the Areny 1 and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 15 cm; hammer length is about 33 cm. Arrows indicate the position of some tracks.
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pone-0072579-g003: Track occurrence in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Underneath views of overhanging ledges in the Iscles-3, Cingles del Boixader, La Mata del Viudà, and Masia de Ramon Petjades localities, respectively. (E and F) Cross-sectional outcrop views in the La Pleta Nord and Serraduy Sur localities, respectively. (G and H) Plan view outcrops in the Areny 1 and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 15 cm; hammer length is about 33 cm. Arrows indicate the position of some tracks.

Mentions: The study area is concentrated on several localities belonging to the Tremp Formation, along multiple sections distributed over various geographical areas of the southern Pyrenees (Tremp, Àger, and Vallcebre synclines in the provinces of Huesca, Lleida and Barcelona, Spain, SW Europe; Fig. 1). The Tremp Formation is a marginal marine and terrestrial unit, about 800 m thick, which is exposed in northern Catalonia and Aragón (Spain) and encompasses deposits of Late Cretaceous to Early Palaeogene age. The Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) part of the formation contains two lithologic units deposited as a result of a marine regression [27]: a basal lagoonal grey unit (coals, mudstones and sandstones) and a fluvial lower red unit (mudstones and sandstones) [28]. In the latter unit various lithostratigraphic subunits have been recognised such as the fluvial “Gres à reptiles” and the lacustrine “Tossal de la Doba limestones” (or “Tossal d'Obà” member), in the Vallcebre and Isona sectors, respectively [6], [28]–[31]. The lacustrine Vallcebre limestones and laterally equivalent strata (the “Suterranya limestones” and “Sant Salvador de Toló limestones” subunits in the Isona sector) and overlying fluvial units represent the Palaeogene strata [28], [29]. The transition from Cretaceous to Palaeogene strata is isochronous [32]. Even though no impact layer has ever been found in the Pyrenean continental sections, the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary is located at the contact between the lower red unit and the Vallcebre limestones and laterally equivalent strata or just below this contact, according to biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic determinations ([6], [31] and references therein). In any case the boundary is found above the “Gres à reptiles” and “Tossal de la Doba limestones” members. With regard to the base of the Tremp Formation, this is not completely isochronous since laterally it evolves into the deltaic-marine Arén Sandstone Formation (Fig. 3 in [6]). This chronostratigraphical scheme can be expanded and correlated to other areas of the northern Pyrenees and Provence regions of France, within what is known as the Ibero-Armorican domain [33], though no dinosaur tracks have yet been reported there. Since the early 1920 s numerous fossil localities in the Arén Sandstone and Tremp formations of Spain have yielded multiple bones, tracks and eggs attributed to theropods, hadrosaurs, ankylosaurians, and sauropods [6], [34].


The latest succession of dinosaur tracksites in Europe: Hadrosaur ichnology, track production and palaeoenvironments.

Vila B, Oms O, Fondevilla V, Gaete R, Galobart A, Riera V, Canudo JI - PLoS ONE (2013)

Track occurrence in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Underneath views of overhanging ledges in the Iscles-3, Cingles del Boixader, La Mata del Viudà, and Masia de Ramon Petjades localities, respectively. (E and F) Cross-sectional outcrop views in the La Pleta Nord and Serraduy Sur localities, respectively. (G and H) Plan view outcrops in the Areny 1 and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 15 cm; hammer length is about 33 cm. Arrows indicate the position of some tracks.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3760888&req=5

pone-0072579-g003: Track occurrence in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Underneath views of overhanging ledges in the Iscles-3, Cingles del Boixader, La Mata del Viudà, and Masia de Ramon Petjades localities, respectively. (E and F) Cross-sectional outcrop views in the La Pleta Nord and Serraduy Sur localities, respectively. (G and H) Plan view outcrops in the Areny 1 and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 15 cm; hammer length is about 33 cm. Arrows indicate the position of some tracks.
Mentions: The study area is concentrated on several localities belonging to the Tremp Formation, along multiple sections distributed over various geographical areas of the southern Pyrenees (Tremp, Àger, and Vallcebre synclines in the provinces of Huesca, Lleida and Barcelona, Spain, SW Europe; Fig. 1). The Tremp Formation is a marginal marine and terrestrial unit, about 800 m thick, which is exposed in northern Catalonia and Aragón (Spain) and encompasses deposits of Late Cretaceous to Early Palaeogene age. The Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) part of the formation contains two lithologic units deposited as a result of a marine regression [27]: a basal lagoonal grey unit (coals, mudstones and sandstones) and a fluvial lower red unit (mudstones and sandstones) [28]. In the latter unit various lithostratigraphic subunits have been recognised such as the fluvial “Gres à reptiles” and the lacustrine “Tossal de la Doba limestones” (or “Tossal d'Obà” member), in the Vallcebre and Isona sectors, respectively [6], [28]–[31]. The lacustrine Vallcebre limestones and laterally equivalent strata (the “Suterranya limestones” and “Sant Salvador de Toló limestones” subunits in the Isona sector) and overlying fluvial units represent the Palaeogene strata [28], [29]. The transition from Cretaceous to Palaeogene strata is isochronous [32]. Even though no impact layer has ever been found in the Pyrenean continental sections, the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary is located at the contact between the lower red unit and the Vallcebre limestones and laterally equivalent strata or just below this contact, according to biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic determinations ([6], [31] and references therein). In any case the boundary is found above the “Gres à reptiles” and “Tossal de la Doba limestones” members. With regard to the base of the Tremp Formation, this is not completely isochronous since laterally it evolves into the deltaic-marine Arén Sandstone Formation (Fig. 3 in [6]). This chronostratigraphical scheme can be expanded and correlated to other areas of the northern Pyrenees and Provence regions of France, within what is known as the Ibero-Armorican domain [33], though no dinosaur tracks have yet been reported there. Since the early 1920 s numerous fossil localities in the Arén Sandstone and Tremp formations of Spain have yielded multiple bones, tracks and eggs attributed to theropods, hadrosaurs, ankylosaurians, and sauropods [6], [34].

Bottom Line: The hadrosaur tracks are significantly smaller in size than, but morphologically similar to, those of North America and Asia and are attributable to the ichnogenus Hadrosauropodus.The track succession, with more than 40 distinct track levels, indicates that hadrosaur footprints in the Ibero-Armorican region occur predominantly in the late Maaastrichtian (at least above the early Maastrichtian-late Maastrichtian boundary).The highest abundance is found noticeably found in the late Maastrichtian, with tracks occurring in the C29r magnetochron, within about the latest 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Grupo Aragosaurus-IUCA, Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain ; Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
A comprehensive review and study of the rich dinosaur track record of the Tremp Formation in the southern Pyrenees of Spain (Southwestern Europe) shows a unique succession of footprint localities prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event. A description of some 30 new tracksites and data on sedimentary environments, track occurrence and preservation, ichnology and chronostratigraphy are provided. These new track localities represent various facies types within a diverse set of fluvial environments. The footprint discoveries mostly represent hadrosaurian and, less abundantly, to sauropod dinosaurs. The hadrosaur tracks are significantly smaller in size than, but morphologically similar to, those of North America and Asia and are attributable to the ichnogenus Hadrosauropodus. The track succession, with more than 40 distinct track levels, indicates that hadrosaur footprints in the Ibero-Armorican region occur predominantly in the late Maaastrichtian (at least above the early Maastrichtian-late Maastrichtian boundary). The highest abundance is found noticeably found in the late Maastrichtian, with tracks occurring in the C29r magnetochron, within about the latest 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.

Show MeSH