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Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Li D.,Geological Museum of Gansu | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Marty D.,Naturhistorisches Museum Basel | And 5 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2015

Multiple dinosaur tracksites are known from the red beds (sandstones and siltstones) of the Hekou Group in the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin in Gansu Province, China. Among these, the most famous is the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksite, which has an abundance of tracks from a diverse ichnofauna. Here, we describe natural casts from six new tracksites including three located near the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksites and three from more distant tracksites (located up to 40 km from Yanguoxia). The new tracksites have all yielded isolated, large dinosaur track casts, two of which are tridactyl tracks of ornithopod and/or theropod affinity, while another eight casts are pes and manus tracks of medium-to large-sized sauropods. The predominance of sauropod track casts may reflect the fact that, by simple virtue of their large size, sauropods tracks resist weathering and are easy to find. Notably, the sauropod track casts are deep natural tracks left in soft and moist substrates with a relatively high cohesiveness. They offer a glimpse into the three-dimensional foot morphology of the sauropod trackmakers and their foot movement (locomotion), and thus are an important complement to the tracks preserved as (shallow) impressions and the trackways of the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksite. The new tracksites suggest a lower ecological diversity than would be inferred from the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksite. However, it is assumed that this apparent low diversity is an artifact resulting from the small sample area and the fact that all the outcrops are cross-sections where bedding planes - that could reveal small tracks and more abundant tracks and trackways - are scarce and limited to small surfaces. These new sites suggest that the distribution and frequency of dinosaur tracks within the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin is much wider than previously assumed and that many more dinosaur tracksites are likely to be discovered within the basin in the future. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Zhang J.,China University of Geosciences | Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum | And 4 more authors.
Historical Biology | Year: 2015

A dinosaur tracksite in the Lower Jurassic Ziliujing Formation of Sichuan Province, China consists of a spectacular sub-vertical exposure, with multiple track-bearing levels and trackways showing parallel and bimodal orientations. Based on well-preserved material, the new ichnogenus and ichnospecies, Liujianpus shunan ichnogen. nov. ichnosp. nov. is erected to accommodate distinctive sauropodomorph trackways occurring in this assemblage. Liujianpus has a unique combination of features, some relating to the early Jurassic basal sauropodomorph (prosauropod in traditional usage) ichnogenus Otozoum, others to the sauropod ichnogenus Brontopodus. Despite such a mix of basal sauropodomorph- and sauropod-like features, the trackmaker of Liujianpus is likely a basal sauropodomorph. This identification is consistent with the occurrence of basal sauropodomorph skeletons from geographically and chronologically close localities. The other distinct morphotype from the tracksite is linked to a sauropod trackmaker. As such, the ichnofauna consisting of two distinct foot morphotypes reflects the diversity of sauropodomorph dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic of Asia. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Source


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Xing L.,University of Alberta | Li D.,Geological Museum of Gansu | Harris J.D.,Dixie State University | And 5 more authors.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2013

Herein we describe deinonychosaurian (Dinosauria: Theropoda) tracks in the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group at sites I and II of Liujiaxia Dinosaur National Geopark, Gansu Province, China. The site preserves 71 didactyl tracks, the largest concentration of deinonychosaurian tracks in Asia. The tracks pertain to a new dromaeopodid ichnospecies: Dromaeosauripus yongjingensis ichnosp. nov., which is diagnosed by: a digital pad formula of x-1-3-4-x and a mean divarication angle between digits III and IV of 19°, and having the proximal portion of digit II contacting the anterior margin of a large, rounded metatarsophalangeal pad. Six Dromaeosauripus trackways from site II comprise at least two, and possibly three, turning trackways in which the track maker(s) turned without slowing down. None of the Dromaeosauripus trackways are parallel or closely spaced, suggesting that they were made by solitary track makers. Estimates of dromaeopodid track-maker sizes are between 61-300 cm, well within the size range established by body fossils of both dromaeosaurids and troodontids. Copyright © 2013 L. Xing et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Pinuela L.,Museo del Jurasico de Asturias MUJA Jurassic Museum of Asturias | Zhang J.,China University of Geosciences | And 3 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2013

The Lotus Fortress tracksite in the Qijiang National Geological Park, in Qijiang District, Chongqing Municipality consists of two distinct assemblages associated with different surfaces (Qijiang Layers 1 and 2). The lower of these two assemblages, here labeled as the ". Wupus- Pteraichnus ichnoassemblage" is dominated by multiple, mainly parallel trackways of a small tridactyl and five trackways of pterosaurs ( Pteraichnus). The upper surface assemblage, here labeled as the ". Caririchnium ichnoassemblage", is dominated by the tracks of ornithopods ( Caririchnium lotus). Here we give a detailed description of the Pteraichnus tracks and evaluate their paleoecological significance together with other reports of pterosaur tracks from East Asia. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Buckley L.G.,Peace Region Palaeontology Research Center | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Zhang J.,China University of Geosciences | And 5 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2016

There are a growing number of Early Cretaceous avian tracks and trackways from around the world, with Asia (China and Korea) having the largest reported number and diversity of Mesozoic avian traces to date, and these new discoveries are increasing the Early Cretaceous avian ichnodivesrity of Laurasia. Here we report on a new Lower Cretaceous avian track locality in the Guanshan area, Yongjing County, Gansu Province, northwest China, and on a novel ichnospecies of Koreanaornis, Koreanaornis lii ichnosp. nov. Koreananornis lii is distinct from other Koreanaornipodidae in that it possesses a consistently wider digit divarication than previously described tridactyl tracks, and possess a short, small, posteromedially oriented hallux that displays a different orientation than that seen in Koreanaornis hamanensis. The lack of linear and angular data reported for digit I traces of many avian ichnotaxa has the potential to give misleading results in multivariate statistical analyses. Also, the wide divarication of Koreanaornis lii causes the ichnotaxon to not group with other Koreanornipodidae in multivariate analyses, but with Ignotornidae. Despite the results of the analyses, K. lii is morphologically distinct from these ichnotaxa. The results demonstrate that relying solely on multivariate statistical analyses without careful examination of footprint morphology will result in erroneous ichnospecies groupings. While new vertebrate ichnotaxa discoveries from Asia may support the hypotheses of the presence of a unique and endemic Asian vertebrate ichnofauna during the Cretaceous, the recent discovery of skeletal remains interpreted to be of a volant wading bird from the Early Cretaceous, and recent reports of tracks from volant avians, could suggest that flighted avians of the shore- and wading bird ecotypes could have had a Laurasian-wide distribution during the Early Cretaceous. However, strong convergence in foot morphology of shore- and wading birds suggests that avian ichnotaxa found in both present-day Asia and North America may have been made by birds endemic to eastern and western Laurasia during the Early Cretaceous. © 2016. Source

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