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Porrentruy, Switzerland

Marty D.,Office de la culture | Meyer C.A.,Naturhistorisches Museum | Belvedere M.,University of Padua | Ayer J.,Museum dHistoire Naturelle et Musee dHistoire des science | Schafer K.L.,University of Fribourg
Revue de Paleobiologie | Year: 2013

The first vertebrate tracks from the Canton Neuchâtel (Switzerland), discovered at "Les Grattes" (Rochefort, Canton Neuchâtel) are described. The track-bearing level is located within intertidal to supratidal shallow marine limestones and biolaminites of the Jura carbonate platform, that form part of the lower Twannbach Formation (Early Tithonian). So far, several scattered sauropod tracks and one trackway have been identified. Due to particular substrate conditions at the time of track formation and recent weathering, all tracks are rather poorly preserved, shallow, and do not exhibit any anatomical details such as digit and claw impressions. However, the trackway is well defined, has a quadrupedal pattern, a regular configuration with manus tracks located well in front of the precedent pes track, and a narrow gauge. The mean pes length is 32.3 cm and the mean manus width 18.2 cm, suggesting a quite small or juvenile sauropod as the trackmaker. Based on comparisons with other similar trackways from the Late Jurassic of the Swiss Jura Mountains, trackway S1 is tentatively assigned to the ichnotaxon Parabrontopodus. Accordingly, it is amongst the youngest occurrences of Parabrontopodus, and constitutes an important temporal pinpoint, close to the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. The Rochefort-Les Grattes tracksite is located much further southwest than other known Early Tithonian tracksites in the Swiss Jura Mountains, and is further evidence for the existence of an Early Tithonian megatracksite. Likewise, this discovery considerably narrows down the spatial gap between the Tithonian tracksites in the Swiss and French Jura Mountains, which is important for the recognition and definition of a Late Jurassic "faunal exchange corridor" for dinosaur and other terrestrial vertebrates from further south (Iberian Massif - Massif Central) and further North (Rhenish Massif - London-Brabant Massif). Source


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Marty D.,Office de la culture | Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum | And 7 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

New dinosaur track assemblages were discovered recently in the Tianjialou Formation of the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group in Shandong Province, China. Theropods are represented by the trackways of two different medium-sized groups: (1) tridactyl tracks with a typical mesaxonic shape; (2) functionally didactyl tracks attributed to deinonychosaurian theropods. The latter report, the third from the Cretaceous of Shandong Province, enlarges the global record of didactyl theropod tracks, until now sparsely documented from only a few locations in Asia, North America and Europe. A number of features in the dromaeosaur trackway suggest the assignment to cf. Dromaeosauripus. Several medium-sized trackways resemble the narrow-gauge, small manus ichnogenus Parabrontopodus, and one large trackway is characterised by a wide-gauge and large manus, similar to Brontopodus. This suggests the co-occurrence of two different sauropod groups. A further component in these ichnoassemblages is a tetradactyl morphotype and trackways of ornithischian affinity that are tentatively attributed to psittacosaurs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Detrey J.,Office de la culture | Affolter J.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Revue de Paleobiologie | Year: 2010

The site of Romain-la-Roche (Doubs, France) is an important one because the artefacts of the middle Paleolithic were found in stratigraphie position. Most of the lithic industry is made in local Bajocian flint. A very few one are allochtons, and contacts with Gigny (Jura, France) and Mont-Les-Etrelles (Haute-Saône, France) can be evoked. The material found shows that the debitage was realised on the site, at least in layer V where the most part of the artefacts were found. A simplified production of blades can be observed. Elements evoking Levallois debitage were found, but they are too poor to assure the existence of the kind of production. There is very few tools, however this industry can be detremined as a Mousterian, but datas are missing in the region, even in a larger area, and no cultural or chronological insertion can be proposed. Source


Guelat M.,Office de la culture | Richard H.,University of Franche Comte
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2014

The construction of the A16-Transjurane motorway revealed evidence of Holocene sediment sequences in the Delémont valley (Canton of Jura, Switzerland). Certain processes begin during the Younger Dryas. Pine forests dominate this cold period, which was unfavourable for pedogenesis; they remain throughout the first half of the Holocene. The meandering river system then becomes stable for more than four millennia. The first signs of human impact on the vegetal cover begin to appear around 3,500 cal BC (Middle Neolithic). An increase in hydric activity occurs between 3,600 and 2,500 cal BC. However, the earliest evidence of the cultivation of cereals dates only to about 2,000 cal BC (Early Bronze Age). Extensive forest clearing and the emergence of cultivated plants occur after 1,400 cal BC. On the cleared slopes the soil erodes and at their foot colluvium deposits accumulate. The densification of the settlement from the Late Bronze Age (1,350-800 cal BC) until the beginning of the Iron Age (800-650 cal BC) contributes to alluvial destabilization. A palaeosol has been identified in all of the Holocene deposits in the valley. The deforestation intensifies between 400 and 100 cal BC while hydric activity decreases. The first centuries of our era record very limited pedo-sedimentary phenomena. However, human presence becomes less marked after 350 cal AD. The slopes are stabilized and the soil develops. From 550 cal AD, an important increase in hydric activity takes place, a probable consequence of a wet fluctuation in the climate. Contemporary forest clearing causes deep gullies. After 750 cal AD, drier conditions set in. This period of stability, marked by occasional rises in the water level, continues until 1,250-1,300 cal AD (Late Middle Ages). Then superficial flows resume and entrenchment of the main waterways occurs, combined consequences of the Little Ice Age and the upsurge in human activity. © 2014 Swiss Geological Society. Source


Schudack U.,Free University of Berlin | Schudack M.,Free University of Berlin | Marty D.,Office de la culture | Comment G.,Office de la culture
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2013

Ostracods are a common microfaunal element of the Kimmeridgian of the Jura Mountains in NW Switzerland. The stratigraphical subdivision within the Kimmeridgian can as clearly be inferred from ostracods as it is the case from the ammonite biozonation. This proves the utiliy of the ostracod biozonation, especially where ammonites are not available or rare. The ostracod-bearing layers of the sequence under study (middle part of the Reuchenette Formation = Banné Member, Courtedoux Member and Lower Virgula Marls) have been deposited in waters with highly brackish to marine salinities (high in the pliohaline range to-predominanttly-brachyhaline according to the Venice System, Oertli 1964). From the base of the section (base of the Banné Member, high brachyhaline in average), salinities slowly decreased, with lowest salinities in the lower dinosaur track levels of Courtedoux Member (high pliohaline on average). They then increased again to higher salinities (high brachyhaline on average) above the upper dinosaur track levels of the Courtedoux Member and the Lower Virgula Marls (lowermost A. eudoxus Zone). These trends perfectly correlate with the increased occurence of ammonites above the upper dinosaur track levels. In terms of Kimmeridgian ostracod palaeobiogeography, the fauna of the NW Swiss Jura Mountains described in this work is most similar to the Aquitan and Paris Basins, a little less to Northern Germany, and even less (with not even half of the species in common) to Southern Germany. The NW Swiss Jura Mountains still belong to a largely boreally influenced "Western and Central European subprovince", whereas Southern Germany (though located more to the north) was subjected to an enhanced tethyan influence. © 2013 Swiss Geological Society. Source

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