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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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Mapping of some of the main hadrosaur track localities in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Cingles del Boixader, Masia de Ramon Petjades, La Mata del Viudà, and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 50 cm.
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pone-0072579-g006: Mapping of some of the main hadrosaur track localities in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Cingles del Boixader, Masia de Ramon Petjades, La Mata del Viudà, and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 50 cm.

Mentions: The new findings in the southern Pyrenees refer to three track types that have been attributed to sauropods (pes) and hadrosaurs (pes and manus) (Fig. 5). The most abundant track types in fluvial settings are the pedal prints of hadrosaurs, which are of moderate sizes and share a similar morphology (Fig. 5, 6, 7 and Appendix S1). These are tridactyl and mesaxonic, as wide as or wider than long (TL: TW ∼1), and have blunt or rounded digits and a broad heel impression. The impression of digit III is thick and equal to or slightly shorter than digits II and IV but protrudes farther anteriorly than these (Fig. 7A, D, E; cf. [52]). The impressions of digits II and IV are sub-equal in length, usually oriented parallel to digit III and have an elliptical to tear-drop shape. Some of the digits preserve hoof-like impressions of unguals (Fig. 5D and 7J). The impression of the heel pad is wide and preserves a bilobed outline (Fig. 5C and E). Laterally, the heel pad displays symmetrical indentations or creases in relation to digits II and IV and constitutes a sub-rectangular morphology (Fig. 7A–P). Some tracks (MCD-5140, MCD-5141, MCD-5156, MRP-10) preserve the morphology of the plantar impression produced by the heel pad (Fig. 5E, 7D, E and Appendix S1), a triangular-shaped area that separates digit III from digits II and IV (i.e. the metatarsophalangeal pad). This is well featured in many other large ornithopod tracks [52]–[54]. Some of the pes casts (at the Serraduy Norte, Serraduy Sur, Serrat de Santó, and La Mata del Viudà localities) preserve slide marks or striae indicating a forward (horizontal and vertical) motion of the foot as it sank into the mud (Fig. 5F). These are vertical on the posterior margin of the heel area and slightly inclined on the lateral/medial sides of the digits. Similar structures have been reported in North American and Asian localities and they have been interpreted as the marks left by the skin tubercles of the foot when it sank into the substrate [11], [53], [55], [56].


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)

Mapping of some of the main hadrosaur track localities in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Cingles del Boixader, Masia de Ramon Petjades, La Mata del Viudà, and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 50 cm.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0072579-g006: Mapping of some of the main hadrosaur track localities in the Tremp Formation.(A–D) Cingles del Boixader, Masia de Ramon Petjades, La Mata del Viudà, and La Llau de la Costa localities, respectively. Scale bar: 50 cm.
Mentions: The new findings in the southern Pyrenees refer to three track types that have been attributed to sauropods (pes) and hadrosaurs (pes and manus) (Fig. 5). The most abundant track types in fluvial settings are the pedal prints of hadrosaurs, which are of moderate sizes and share a similar morphology (Fig. 5, 6, 7 and Appendix S1). These are tridactyl and mesaxonic, as wide as or wider than long (TL: TW ∼1), and have blunt or rounded digits and a broad heel impression. The impression of digit III is thick and equal to or slightly shorter than digits II and IV but protrudes farther anteriorly than these (Fig. 7A, D, E; cf. [52]). The impressions of digits II and IV are sub-equal in length, usually oriented parallel to digit III and have an elliptical to tear-drop shape. Some of the digits preserve hoof-like impressions of unguals (Fig. 5D and 7J). The impression of the heel pad is wide and preserves a bilobed outline (Fig. 5C and E). Laterally, the heel pad displays symmetrical indentations or creases in relation to digits II and IV and constitutes a sub-rectangular morphology (Fig. 7A–P). Some tracks (MCD-5140, MCD-5141, MCD-5156, MRP-10) preserve the morphology of the plantar impression produced by the heel pad (Fig. 5E, 7D, E and Appendix S1), a triangular-shaped area that separates digit III from digits II and IV (i.e. the metatarsophalangeal pad). This is well featured in many other large ornithopod tracks [52]–[54]. Some of the pes casts (at the Serraduy Norte, Serraduy Sur, Serrat de Santó, and La Mata del Viudà localities) preserve slide marks or striae indicating a forward (horizontal and vertical) motion of the foot as it sank into the mud (Fig. 5F). These are vertical on the posterior margin of the heel area and slightly inclined on the lateral/medial sides of the digits. Similar structures have been reported in North American and Asian localities and they have been interpreted as the marks left by the skin tubercles of the foot when it sank into the substrate [11], [53], [55], [56].

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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