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Giant Eocene bird footprints from NW Washington State



HI ALL:
 FYI:

MUSTOE, G. E., TUCKER, D. S. and KEMPLIN, K. L. (2012), Giant Eocene bird
footprints from Northwest Washington, USA. Palaeontology, 55: 12931305.
doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2012.01195.x.

Keywords:Chuckanut Formation;Diatryma;Gastornis;ichnofossils

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.


-- 

Ian Paulsen
Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
Visit my BIRDBOOKER REPORT blog here:
http://birdbookerreport.blogspot.com/