[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

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.
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: