[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Uzbekistan tracks



     No one posted this December DISCOVER article, so here it is:

    "These dinosaur tracks, recently discovered in a mudflat on the 
border of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan by a University of Colorado at 
Denver expedition, are part of the longest dinosaur trackways in the 
world.  The five trackways found by Martin Lockley and his colleagues 
extend 604, 640, 741, 860, and 1,020 feet--which means they're all longer 
than the previous record holder, a 482-foot long trackway in Portugal.  
The tracks were made by more than 20 individual megalosaurs, a type of 
carniverous dinosaur similar to Tyrannosaurus rex.   They date from about 
155 million years ago, before tyrannosaurs appeared, and are similar to 
ones found in Europe and North America. 'The find shows that megalosaurs 
were quite widespread by the Late Jurassic,' says Lockley.  Each 
footprint is about two feet long--close to the size of a tyrranosaur 
footprint--with an elongated heel.  The stride length suggests that the 
animal was only slightly smaller than the 40-foot-long T.rex.  Rather 
than one footprint falling neatly in front of the other, though, as the 
tracks of most carniverous dinosaurs do, the right and left megalosaur 
footprints are about three feet apart,  "When you look at them, you think 
the left feet are one trackway and the right feet another," says 
Lockley.  Apparently the megalosaurs waddled."

      Looking at the accompanying photo, I beleive the "elongate heel" 
means the prints were made just by the tarsals as in most theropods (making 
them look a little like some cartoon or logo dinosaur prints), but does NOT 
refer to a metatarsal mark.
      Also in this DISOCVER is an article about an apparently herbiverous 
Cretaceous crocodilian from China, about three feet long with very 
mammal-like teeth, currently being worked on by Hans-Dieter Sues at the 
Royal Onterio Museum.  Material apparently consists only of a skull 
(lacking the jaws), shoulder girdle, forelimbs, hip, and some of the 
vertebral column.  The crocodilian's teeth have cusps, and the jaw 
joint is elongated, possibly to alow the animal a back and forth 
grinding motion.  

LN Jeff