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Re: New papers on dinosaur tracks in Oryctos

The pdf-files of these articles are downloadable in the web-pages of their authors:

O. Mateus & J. Milàn. 2008. Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Oryctos 8, 47-52.

M. Lockley, J.C. Garcia-Ramos, L. Pinuela & M. Avanzini. 2008 A review of vertebrate track assemblages from the Late Jurassic of Asturias, Spain with comparative notes on coeval ichnofaunas from the western USA: implications for faunal diversity in siliciclastic facies assemblages. Oryctos 8, 53-70.

M. Avanzini, L.Pinuela & J.C. Garcia-Ramos. 2008. Theropod Palaeopathology inferred from a Late Jurassic trackway, Asturias (N. Spain). Oryctos 8, 71-75.

B. Vila, O. Oms, J. Marmi & A. Galobart. 2008. Tracking Fumanya Footprints (Maastrichtian, Pyrenees): historical and ichnological overview. Oryctos 8, 115-130.

------------------------------------------- Jose Ignacio Ruiz-Omeñaca Museo del Jurásico de Asturias (MUJA) E-33328 Colunga, Spain www.dinoastur.com www.museojurasicoasturias.com www.aragosaurus.com -------------------------------------------

The last issue of the French journal Oryctos contains ten papers on
dinosaur footprints: http://www.dinosauria.org/oryctos.php

The issue 8 (2008) of Oryctos contains the proceedings of the
"International Symposium on dinosaurs and other vertebrates
Palaeoichnology" held at Fumanya (Barcelona province, Spain), October
4-8th, 2005: http://usuarios.lycos.es/fumanyasymp05/

(the Abstract Book of the symposium is free at:
http://www.icp.cat/docs/art_fumanya_symposium.pdf )

The titles and abstracts of the proceedings are in the web of the
journal: http://www.dinosauria.org/oryctos-volume.php?volume=9

Those of Gierlinski & Sabath (2008), Gierlinski et al. (2008) and Dalla
Vecchia (2008) were mentioned by Jerry D. Harris in October and
but the rest have not been mentioned in this list.


Marco Avanzini & Paolo Mietto. Lower and Middle Triassic
footprint-based Biochronology in the Italian Southern Alps. Oryctos 8,

The Early and Middle Triassic ichnoassociations of the Italian Southern
Alps appear particularly important due to their excellent state of
preservation and the ample vertical distribution of the dated trampled
levels. On the basis of the ranges of single ichnotaxa, it is possible
to define a series of different associations, characterized by
different evolutionary stages. They correspond to informal evolutionary
units that can be estabilished as faunal units (FUs). The Scythian is
characterized by the presence of Rhynchosauroides schochardti that
disappears in the Anisian. In the Anisian, characterized by the
appearance of Rhynchosauroides tirolicus) a progressive increase in the
complexity of the ichnoassociations from the Bithynian to the Illyrian
is documented. In the Bithynian - Early Pelsonian interval the faunal
assemblage is dominated by Parasynaptichnium gracilis and Synaptichnium
pseudosuchoides. The Early Pelsonian - Early Illyrian interval is
characterized by the dominance of Isochirotherium delicatum and
Brachychirotherium circaparvum.

Martin A. Whyte & Mike Romano. Dinosaur footprints associated with an
ephemeral pool in the Middle Jurassic of Yorkshire, UK. Oryctos 8,

A thin mudstone intercalation within channel sandstones of the Saltwick
Formation (Middle Jurassic) of the Cleveland area of Yorkshire shows a
succession of invertebrate traces followed by dinosaur tracks and then
shrinkage cracks. The tridactyl prints, all made by the same type of
small bipedal dinosaur, show an interesting range of morphologies,
including imprints of the metatarsal area, consistent with their having
been made in soft cohesive mud of varying moisture content. Some of the
tracks indicate that the foot was moved backwards during withdrawal.
Such foot movement can also be observed in modern emu locomotion. The
pattern of shrinkage cracks is partly controlled by the prints. This
sequence is comparable to the sequence of traces and structures which
have been observed in a recent ephemeral pool and is interpreted as
having formed in a similar environment. Uniquely for the Yorkshire
area, the prints and cracks are infilled by small, now sideritised,
pellets possibly of invertebrate faecal origin.

Gerard D. Gierlinski & Karol Sabath. Stegosaurian footprints from the
Morrison Formation of Utah and their implications for interpreting
other ornithischian tracks. Oryctos 8, 29-46.

The supposed stegosaurian track Deltapodus Whyte & Romano, 1994 (Middle
Jurassic of England) is sauropod-like, elongate and plantigrade, but
many blunt-toed, digitigrade, large ornithopod-like footprints
(including pedal print cast associated with the manus of Stegopodus
Lockley & Hunt, 1998) from the Upper Jurassic of Utah, better fit the
stegosaurian foot pattern. The Morrison Formation of Utah yielded other
tracks fitting the dryomorph (camptosaur) foot pattern (Dinehichnus
Lockley et al., 1998) much better than Stegopodus. If the Stegopodus
pedal specimen (we propose to shift the emphasis from the manus to the
pes in the revised diagnosis of this ichnotaxon) and similar ichnites
are proper stegosaur footprints, Deltapodus must have been left by
another thyreophoran trackmaker. Other Deltapodus-like (possibly
ankylosaurian) tracks include Navahopus Baird,1980 and Apulosauripus
Nicosia et al., 1999. Heel-dominated, short-toed forms within the
Navahopus-Deltapodus-Apulosauripus plexus differ from the gracile,
relatively long-toed Tetrapodosaurus Sternberg, 1932, traditionally
regarded as an ankylosaurian track. Thus, the original interpretation
of the latter as a ceratopsian track might be correct, supporting early
(Aptian) appearance of ceratopsians in North America. Isolated pedal
ichnites from the Morrison Formation (with a single tentatively
associated manus print, and another one from Poland) and the only known
trackways with similar footprints (Upper Jurassic of Asturias, Spain)
imply bipedal gait of their trackmakers. Thus, problems with stegosaur
tracks possibly stem from the expectation of their quadrupedality.
Massive but short stegosaur forelimbs suggest primarily bipedal
locomotion, and quadrupedal defense posture.

Octávio Mateus & Jesper Milàn. Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Oryctos 8, 47-52.

The Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation (Lusitanian Basin, Portugal) contains a diverse dinosaur fauna comprising theropods, sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and several genera of ornithopods. The sedimentology in the area favours preservation of tracksways, and tracks from most of the dinosaurs are also represented by skeletal remains. During fieldwork in the summer of 2003 a new, large, tridactyl track was found at the beach of Vale Frades, approximately 6 km north of Lourinhã (central west Portugal). The track was found together with a stegosaur track on a clay bed exposed within the intertidal zone. Due to the immediate danger of erosion, the track was collected and is now on display at Museu da Lourinhã. The track is 70 cm long and 69 cm wide, the toes are short and broad, with indications of short blunt claws, and there is a high angle of divarication between the outer digits. The shape and dimensions of the track identifies it as deriving from an ornithopod dinosaur with an estimate
d hip height around three metres. Although very large ornithopods are
known from the Cretaceous, the largest known Jurassic ornithopod is
Camptosaurus from North America, and the largest known from Portugal is
the camptosaurid Draconyx loureiroi. Neither of these reached the body
size suggested by the new track. So far the track described herein is
the only evidence for a Jurassic ornithopod of that size.

Martin Lockley, José Carlos Garcia-Ramos, Laura Pinuela & Marco Avanzini. A review of vertebrate track assemblages from the Late Jurassic of Asturias, Spain with comparative notes on coeval ichnofaunas from the western USA: implications for faunal diversity in siliciclastic facies assemblages. Oryctos 8, 53-70.

Upper Jurassic tetrapod tracks from Asturias (Spain) are similar to
those from the famous Morrison Formation of the Rocky Mountain Region
(western USA). Both regions provide evidence of diverse faunas
comprising dinosaurs (theropods, sauropods and ornithischians),
pterosaurs, crocodilians and turtles which indicate faunas consistent
with known skeletal remains. Almost all these groups are represented by
at least two, if not as many as four or more, distinctive track
morphotypes, giving a cumulative ichno-diversity of at least 12- 15
ichnotaxa. At least half of these are diagnostic to the ichnogenus
level. Thus, the ichnofaunas provide a useful, generalized census of
the Upper Jurassic faunas in these regions. Although there are some
ambiguities about the probable identities of the makers of some
tridactyl tracks, both assemblages are remarkably similar in overall
composition. Most differences between the ichnofaunas reflect subtle
distinctions that reflect differences in size and diversity within the
major track groups. Some differences can also be attributed to
preservational factors. The Asturian assemblages is dominated by
isolated specimens from cliff outcrops in a small area, whereas the
Morrison ichnofaunas is based on in situ sites from a very large area
of more than 500,000 km2.

Marco Avanzini, Laura Pinuela & José Carlos Garcia-Ramos. Theropod Palaeopathology inferred from a Late Jurassic trackway, Asturias (N. Spain). Oryctos 8, 71-75.

Although references to traumas and illness in dinosaur bones are very
frequent, there are few reports about pathologies of these reptiles
through studies of isolated footprints and trackways, and the majority
of these refer to limping dinosaurs. The example presented here refers
to a short theropod trackway of four consecutive footprints, preserved
as convex epireliefs. Anomalous arrangement of the fourth digit in the
right pedal prints suggests a pathology, although we can not determine
if it is malformation or trauma due to fracture. The similarity in the
pace length and angle suggests that if it is a fracture, this was
produced a long time before as there is no evidence of limping in the
reptile gait.

Vanda Faria dos Santos, Carlos Marques da Silva & Luís Azevedo Rodrigues. Dinosaur track sites from Portugal: Scientific and cultural significance. Oryctos 8, 77-88.

Dinosaur tracks in Portugal are known from Bajocian-Bathonian
(Jurassic) through middle Cenomanian (Cretaceous) rocks. The Portuguese
track record includes two outstanding Middle Jurassic track sites both
in Central W Portugal: the Vale de Meios track site, showing dozens of
parallel theropod trackways, and the Galinha site, where several long
sauropod trackways can be seen. There are two other major areas with
important dinosaur track sites: SW Algarve (S Portugal), Lower
Cretaceous, and the Sesimbra region (Central W Portugal), Upper
Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous. Huge track sites such as the Vale de Meios
and Galinha sites can not be excavated and removed into museums;
therefore, they must be preserved in situ, to be studied and visited in
their original geological context. Track sites such as these are
important not only for their scientific, ichnological, significance;
they are also valuable for science popularization and to stimulate
public interest for the preservation of the geological/palaeontological
heritage. In Portugal, in 1996 and 1997, five dinosaur track sites have
been declared natural monuments. In such sites it is possible to teach
and show Palaeontology, as well as other aspects of Earth sciences in
their original geological context, to children from different school
levels and to a broad public with different scientific backgrounds.
Educational programmes for school children and the general public are
paramount in order to elucidate them about dinosaurs and their tracks,
but also to improve their attitude towards the scientific and cultural
value of this palaeontological ichnoheritage. Educational activities
are essential to the success of geoconservation. They boost public
awareness, which, in turn, is fundamental for the protection and
valorisation of the geological and palaeontological heritage. When
local communities are conscious of the scientific and cultural value of
the natural heritage in their home region they become proud of it and
this fact dramatically increases the odds of its effective protection.
Nevertheless, up until now the Galinha track site is the only
Portuguese track site prepared to receive visitors and to offer them
palaeontological educational programmes.

Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia. The impact of dinosaur palaeoichnology in
palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographic reconstructions: the case of
the Periadriatic carbonate platforms. Oryctos 8, 89-106.

Knowledge of dinosaur footprints has greatly changed how scientists
reconstruct the palaeoenvironment and palaeogeography of the Mesozoic
carbonate platforms of the Periadriatic area (Italy, Slovenia and
Croatia). Geologists considered those carbonate platforms as shallow
marine, intraoceanic banks (i.e., surrounded by the Tethys Ocean)
during Cretaceous times. The discovery in the last 20 years of dinosaur
fossils, mainly footprints, in many places and at different
stratigraphic levels has demonstrated that the ?shallow seas? were
repeatedly or continuously populated by large terrestrial animals.
Thus, the reconstructions of those carbonate platforms as a sort of
Mesozoic ?Bahamas Banks? was incorrect. The new record allows also
testing for congruence with palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographic
reconstructions. Areas where dinosaur fossils have been found are
always considered as ?shallow marine? in those reconstructions, very
far away from continental areas during the Late Triassic and earliest
Jurassic and surrounded by deep marine basins during Late Jurassic and
Cretaceous times. The results of this research are a first step toward
the understanding of those dinosaurs living ?at the border?, but are
obviously preliminary and subject to confirmation or confutation with
increased fossil sampling. The ichnological sample and the
palaeogeographic reconstructions can also stimulate some reflections
about the biology of the extinct dinosaurian clades and give some
suggestions for the development of future research.

Gerard D. Gierlinski, Izabela Ploch, Eugenia Gawor-Biedowa & Grzegorz
Niedzwiedzki. The first evidence of dinosaur tracks in the Upper
Cretaceous of Poland. Oryctos 8, 107-113.

A new theropod and ornithischian dinosaur track (Irenesauripus sp. and
cf. Hadrosauropodus sp.) are reported from the Polish Cretaceous
carbonate facies. The reported finds came from the Maastrichtian
limestones, informal unit called Gaizes, exposed in the vicinity of the
Roztocze National Park and represents isolated theropod pedal print and
manuspes set left by hadrosaurid dinosaur. These are the first dinosaur
track record in the Cretaceous of Poland.

Bernat Vila, Oriol Oms, Josep Marmi & Àngel Galobart. Tracking Fumanya Footprints (Maastrichtian, Pyrenees): historical and ichnological overview. Oryctos 8, 115-130.

The Fumanya tracksites (SE Pyrenees, NE Iberian Peninsula) are among
the most important Cretaceous dinosaur track localities in the world.
These sites have remained largely unstudied until 15 years after their
discovery. They provide an exceptional record of sauropod (titanosaur)
ichnology with nearly 3,000 footprints arranged in more than 50
trackways. The study of Fumanya sites is providing further refinements
on titanosaur track morphology, stance, gauge and locomotion. Outcrop
deterioration has deleted significant ichnological information that can
be integrated in the present day dataset by means of the study of
ancient pictures and measurements. Weathering and conservation studies
provide conservation tools for the outcrop. The Fumanya site is
integrated in a large Maastrichtian succession with plenty of other
dinosaur remains (ichnites, bones and clutches) and other
palaeoenvironmental indicators (plants, invertebrates, etc.). This
reinforces the Vallcebre section as a key point to understand the
diversity of the last European dinosaurs during the Maastrichtian and
how their extinction took place.