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Now Ichnology (WAS Semi-Sprawled Sauropods) (Was: WAVP Report)
At 1:32 PM -0700 2/19/01, Richard W Travsky wrote:
On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, Ken Kinman wrote:
Unfortunately, there really are no hard "facts" about posture of
dinosaurs, although some interpretations are perhaps more widely believed
What information can be gleaned from trackways? (I would not think
it necessary to associate tracks with a specific species, just whether,
in they case, they are sauropod or not.)
Good question. You can get so very much information from trace
fossils. They include much, much more than just footprints in the
Most basically: Trace fossils are indirect evidence of life. Life was
actually there - something made the track. Deposition was rapid
enough to preserve it.
Ichnology is an essential part of a paleoecolgical interpretation.
Ichnofossils supply (among other things) evidence that the track
maker was actually IN the place where the trace occurs - traces don't
transport. Among other things traces provide evidence of the type of
behavior that was occurring, information about the degree of
oxygenation of the substrate, substrate consistency, paleocurrent
directions, associations (facies and trophic). They provide
sedimentologic, stratigraphic, and paleoenvironmental information.
They give you clues about ocean water chemistry, substrate chemistry,
terrestrail soil chemistry.....and much, much more.
For a good and informative read, pick up a copy of:
Donovon, S. K., 1994. "The Paleobiology of trace fossils."
Lockley, M. 1991. "Tracking dinosaurs: a new look at an ancient world."
Try doing a search for "Farlow" in GEOref. Many excellent papers on
dinosaur trackways, among others.
Then, for example, check the works of Chin, Seilacher, Pemberton,
Rindsberg, Frey, Eckdale, MacEachern, Bottjer, Babcock, Currie, A.,
and so many more! There are many, many scientists who research
ichnofossils. The list of ichnologist paleogeobiolgists, both
vertebrate and invertebrate, could be very very long and it does
indeed contain several characters. Character, is good. =)
Apologies to anyone who reads this and doesn't see your name on that
list. It is not intentional. It would just get way, way long, and oh
=00= =00= =00= =00=
Marilyn D. Wegweiser, Ph.D.
Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
Cincinnati Natural History Museum
Assistant Professor of Geology
Department of Geology email@example.com
Ball State University Office: 765-285-8268;765-285-8270
Muncie, Indiana FAX: 765-285-8265