Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum

Neumarkt, Germany

Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum

Neumarkt, Germany
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Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Marty D.,Naturhistorisches Museum Basel | Pinuela L.,Museo del Jurasico de Asturias MUJA Jurassic Museum of Asturias | And 3 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2015

A re-description of the Early Cretaceous Zhaojue dinosaur tracksite (Sichuan Province, China) is the major focus of the present work. The tracksite is located in an active copper mine, and a dinosaur track-bearing surface of about 1500m2 (named tracksite I) initially discovered in 1991, has since almost completely collapsed due to ongoing quarry activities. Only about 5% of the initial surface still remains in place (named "remaining tracksite"), while due to the collapse a few new but rather poorly-preserved tracks were unearthed on an underlying level. While the tracks still in place were studied using common field techniques, a schematic tracksite map of the collapsed surface was drawn based on a "corrected orthophotograph" that was generated from overview photographs and from video frames. Fortunately, the resolution of some of the close-up video frames is sufficiently high to observe general track morphology, and to re-interpret previously wrongly identified trackways. Here, we report a quite diverse ichnocoenosis consisting of sauropod, ornithopod, theropod, and pterosaur trackways and isolated tracks. The sauropod trackways belong to the Brontopodus-type and were possibly left by medium-sized titanosaurs. One of the sauropod trackways turns around and makes an astonishingly narrow turn of more than 180° with very pronounced "off-tracking" of the manus with respect to the pes. Such unusual trackways are important for the reconstruction of sauropod locomotion. The theropod trackways were left by small and medium-sized animals with the imprint morphology being similar to that of the ichnogenera Grallator and Eubrontes. Large tridactyl tracks with blunt toes are tentatively identified as ornithopod tracks and may be described as Caririchnium-type tracks. Pterosaur tracks can be assigned to Pteraichnus. The association of pterosaur with small theropod tracks is rather unusual, and this tracksite further corroborates the frequent presence of large ornithopods in inland environmental settings. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Buckley L.G.,Peace Region Palaeontology Research Center | McCrea R.T.,Peace Region Palaeontology Research Center | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Trace fossils provide the only records of Early Cretaceous birds from many parts of the world. The identification of traces from large avian track-makers is made difficult given their overall similarity in size and tridactyly in comparison with traces of small non-avian theropods. Reanalysis of Wupus agilis from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) Jiaguan Formation, one of a small but growing number of known avian-pterosaur track assemblages, of southeast China determines that these are the traces of a large avian track-maker, analogous to extant herons. Wupus, originally identified as the trace of a small non-avian theropod track-maker, is therefore similar in both footprint and trackway characteristics to the Early Cretaceous (Albian) large avian trace Limiavipes curriei from western Canada, and Wupus is reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The reanalysis of Wupus reveals that it and Limiavipes are distinct from similar traces of small to medium-sized non-avian theropods (Irenichnites, Columbosauripus, Magnoavipes) based on their relatively large footprint length to pace length ratio and higher mean footprint splay, and that Wupus shares enough characters with Limiavipes to be reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The ability to discern traces of large avians from those of small non-avian theropods provides more data on the diversity of Early Cretaceous birds. This analysis reveals that, despite the current lack of body fossils, large wading birds were globally distributed in both Laurasia and Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous. Copyright: © 2015 Xing et al.

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.

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.

Farlow J.O.,Indiana University | Schachner E.R.,University of Utah | Sarrazin J.C.,University of Utah | Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum | Currie P.J.,University of Alberta
Anatomical Record | Year: 2014

The crocodile-line basal suchian Poposaurus gracilis had body proportions suggesting that it was an erect, bipedal form like many dinosaurs, prompting questions of whether its pedal proportions, and the shape of its footprint, would likewise "mimic" those of bipedal dinosaurs. We addressed these questions through a comparison of phalangeal, digital, and metatarsal proportions of Poposaurus with those of extinct and extant crocodile-line archosaurs, obligate or facultatively bipedal non-avian dinosaurs, and ground birds of several clades, as well as a comparison of the footprint reconstructed from the foot skeleton of Poposaurus with known early Mesozoic archosaurian ichnotaxa. Bivariate and multivariate analyses of phalangeal and digital dimensions showed numerous instances of convergence in pedal morphology among disparate archosaurian clades. Overall, the foot of Poposaurus is indeed more like that of bipedal dinosaurs than other archosaur groups, but is not exactly like the foot of any particular bipedal dinosaur clade. Poposaurus likely had a digitigrade stance, and its footprint shape could have resembled grallatorid ichnotaxa, unless digit I of the foot of Poposaurus commonly left an impression. Anat Rec, 297:1022-1046, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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 2 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2014

Copper mining activities in a huge quarry in the fluvial-lacustrine Lower Cretaceous Feitianshan Formation near Zhaojue, Sichuan Province have temporarily exposed large track-bearing surfaces that require rapid documentation before they are subject to erosion or damage from collapse or destruction by mining. Due to the urgent need to document these sites several preliminary studies of representative material have been completed, and more than 1000 tracks have been observed. Here we present maps of two large surfaces, with a combined area of ~1000m2, representing the same stratigraphic level, and yielding multiple trackways of measurable quality, including at least 8 theropod, 7 sauropod, and 22 ornithopod trackways. Additional trackmakers of the two latter groups are also well-represented by natural casts derived from an overlying unit disturbed by quarrying. The sauropod tracks are assigned to the ubiquitous ichnogenus Brontopodus. The ornithopod tracks belong to the ichnogenera Caririchnium, attributed to quadrupeds or facultative bipeds, and Ornithopodichnus, corresponding to smaller bipeds. Based on size and morphology the theropod trackways appear to represent diverse morphotypes, including one attributed to the new ichnospecies Siamopodus xui. The Feitianshan Formation ichnofauna, which also includes pterosaur tracks from other nearby surfaces, is moderately diverse and indicates an abundant presence of archosaurs in the region during the Early Cretaceous. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum | Voigt S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Saber H.,Chouaïb Doukkali University | Schneider J.W.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | And 4 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2011

Footprints of Early Mesozoic terrestrial tetrapods are inadequately known from NW Africa despite pervasive and well-exposed continental strata of corresponding age in that region. Here, we report on the first occurrence of a tetrapod ichnofauna from the middle part of the Triassic Timezgadiouine Formation in the Argana Basin, Central Morocco that is outstanding in terms of abundance, preservation, and diversity. Footprints of this assemblage are assigned to the ichnotaxa Chirotherium barthii, Isochirotherium coureli, Synaptichnium isp., Atreipus-Grallator, Rotodactylus isp., Rhynchosauroides isp., and Procolophonichnium isp., suggesting early archosaurian, dinosauromorph, lepidosauromorph and possible therapsid or procolophonoid trackmakers. Based on comparison with the abundant record of Early Mesozoic vertebrate ichnofossils from Europe and North America, the ichnofauna presented here indicates a Middle Triassic (Anisian-Ladinian) age for the track-bearing horizon in the Argana Basin. Its clearly Euramerican affinity sheds light on the migration and dispersal of early archosaur-dominated tetrapod faunas considering that several ichnotaxa of the assemblage are documented from Africa for the first time. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Voigt S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Schneider J.W.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Saber H.,Chouab Doukkali University | Hminna A.,Chouab Doukkali University | And 4 more authors.
Palaios | Year: 2011

Although burrowing ability has been widespread in tetrapods for more than 300 million years, subsurface dwelling structures that indicate communal behavior are poorly evidenced from pre-Cenozoic strata. Here we present recently discovered tetrapod burrows from Middle Triassic red beds of the Argana Basin in central Morocco, whose complexity suggests an origin by gregarious animals. The well-preserved burrows occur in interbedded mudstones and sandstones interpreted as channel and overbank deposits of ephemeral, braided sreams. All burrows originate from the top of thick-bedded sandstones and descend as moderately inclined (10°-030°), partially spiral tunnels to laterally extended, branchd chambers in underlying mudstones. Tunnel segments are biconvex to planoconvex in cross section, up to 20 cm wide and 12 cm in maximum height and exhibit transverse scratch marks along the ceilings and sidewalls. Distinctive burrow characteristics include a laterally sinuous geometry (wavelength λ 5 38-45 cm; amplitude A 5 5-10 cm) of the ubelike passages and the presence of grouped alcoves in terminal chambers. We attribute the burrows to procolophonids or therapsids based on closely associated tetrapod tracks and the limited diameter of the excavations. Our findings represent the second oldest record of communal fossorial behavior by tetrapods and the oldest example from low-latitude areas. Beyond providing refuge from predators, these elaborate underground structures probably functioned as a buffer against diurnal or seasonal variations of air temperature and humidity in a semiarid habitat that was situated just north of the paleoequator. Copyright © 2011, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology.

Rajkumar H.S.,Manipur University | Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum
Journal of Earth System Science | Year: 2014

Two pes imprints of a perissodactyl mammal constituting a single step of a trackway have recently been discovered in Oligocene Flysch deposits of the Barail Group in Manipur, India. The tridactyl, mesaxonic imprints (~7 cm in length)show strong similarities to footprints known from the Paleogene of China and can be attributed to a tapiroid, rhinocerotoid or equoid trackmaker. This is the first record of perissodactyl footprints from the Lower Oligocene of India and the first evidence of mammals in the Barail Group of the age. Remarkable is the occurrence in a marginal marine setting, whereas other known perissodactyl footprints from the Eocene-Oligocene in particular from North America, Europe and China come from fluvio-lacustrine strata. © Indian Academy of Sciences.

PubMed | University of Colorado at Denver, Geological Museum of Gansu, Royal Veterinary College, University of Bristol and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

For more than 70 years unusual sauropod trackways have played a pivotal role in debates about the swimming ability of sauropods. Most claims that sauropods could swim have been based on manus-only or manus-dominated trackways. However none of these incomplete trackways has been entirely convincing, and most have proved to be taphonomic artifacts, either undertracks or the result of differential depth of penetration of manus and pes tracks, but otherwise showed the typical pattern of normal walking trackways. Here we report an assemblage of unusual sauropod tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, northern China, characterized by the preservation of only the pes claw traces, that we interpret as having been left by walking, not buoyant or swimming, individuals. They are interpreted as the result of animals moving on a soft mud-silt substrate, projecting their claws deeply to register their traces on an underlying sand layer where they gained more grip during progression. Other sauropod walking trackways on the same surface with both pes and manus traces preserved, were probably left earlier on relatively firm substrates that predated the deposition of soft mud and silt . Presently, there is no convincing evidence of swimming sauropods from their trackways, which is not to say that sauropods did not swim at all.

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