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Early Jurassic dinosaur footprints from France



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:

Jean-David Moreau, Georges Gand, Emmanuel Fara, Alain Michelin (2012)
Biometric and morphometric approaches on Lower Hettangian dinosaur
footprints from the Rodez Strait (Aveyron, France).
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2011.12.003
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631068312000218


Along the southern crystalline border of the Rouergue, the detrital
Sandstones-variegated Mudstones Formation and the Dolomitic Formation
yields numerous dinosaur footprints from the Earliest Hettangian.
Among the 25 sites distributed along the 40 km-long transect between
Marcillac-Vallon and Saint-Geniez-d’Olt, two of them, Puech de Castres
and Le Bouyssou, have yielded abundant ichnites in various
well-defined stratigraphic units. The combined analysis of these
footprints with biometric and morphometric methods (Fourier analysis)
warrants their identification to Grallator, Eubrontes and
Dilophosauripus. The dual methodological approach also reveals two new
morphotypes previously unknown in the Causses Basin. Moreover, the
footprints assigned to Grallator and Eubrontes tend to be
morphologically similar, suggesting that they might correspond to a
same taxon of Coelophysoidea theropod at different growth stages. This
dinosaur fauna was living in a vast floodplain, in which fluvial
channels carried southward the detrital material coming from the
Rouergue substratum. The Dolomitic Formation was deposited in the
context of a northward marine transgression during which shallow and
aerial environments prevailed in the area.