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Ornithischian Tracksite from Early Jurassic of China

From: Ben Creisler

A new paper in Acta Geologica Sinica:

Jianjun, L., Lockley, M. G., Yuguang, Z., Songmei, H., Masaki, M. and
Zhiqiang, B. (2012)
An Important Ornithischian Tracksite in the Early Jurassic of the
Shenmu Region, Shaanxi, China.
Acta Geologica Sinica - English Edition 86: 1–10.
doi: 10.1111/j.1755-6724.2012.00606.x

A large track site with multiple, well-preserved trackways of an Early
Jurassic quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaur is the first report of
Moyenisauripus-like trackways from Asia, herein named Shenmuichnus
youngteilhardorum. The tracks occur in a clastic fluvial sequence in
the Fuxian Formation in Shenmu County, Shaanxi Province, which is in
the same general region as the discovery site of Sinoichnites, the
first dinosaur track reported from China. Based on size and
morphology, it is likely that Sinoichnites, which is now lost, also
represents an ornithischian. The Shenmuichnus youngteilhardorum
trackways show two modes of preservation: the first representing
deeper tracks, with sediment rims, results in Deltapodus-like tracks,
with indistinct pes digit traces and sub-circular manus traces, the
second produces Moyenosauripus-like tracks, with clear tridactyl and
pentadactyl digit traces in the pes and manus respectively. Thus the
Shenmu trackways play a key role in resolving globally significant
ichnotaxonomic problems surrounding the nomenclature of Sinoichnites,
Moyenosauripus, Deltapodus and other named (Ravatichnus) and unnamed
trackways from Asia, Africa and Europe. In addition they shed
important light on the paleogeographical and paleoecological
distribution of quadrupedal ornithischians in the Early Mesozoic. The
track site has been the focus of a major excavation to transfer the
trackways from their original remote location to the new Shenmu
Museum, in Shenmu City. Other tracksites in the area which reveal
Anomoepus, Grallator and the Deltapodus morphotype, together with
Shenmuichnus and plant fossil evidence, suggest an Early Jurassic age
for the tracksite