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Giant Eocene bird footprints from NW Washington State
MUSTOE, G. E., TUCKER, D. S. and KEMPLIN, K. L. (2012), Giant Eocene bird
footprints from Northwest Washington, USA. Palaeontology, 55: 12931305.
Abstract. Tridactyl bird footprints preserved in Lower Eocene sandstone of
the Chuckanut Formation in Whatcom County, Washington, USA, were made by a
species of giant ground bird that walked along the subtropical lowland
riverbank. The morphology and age of the tracks suggest the track maker
was Diatryma (? = Gastornis). Although these birds have long been
considered to be predators or scavengers, the absence of raptor-like claws
supports earlier suggestions that they were herbivores. The Chuckanut
tracks are herein named as Rivavipes giganteus ichnogenus and ichnospecies
nov., inferred to belong to the extinct family Gastornithidae.
Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
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