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Cretaceous mammal-like tracks from North Africa



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:


Michela Contessi (2013)
First report of mammal-like tracks from the Cretaceous of North Africa
(Tunisia).
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2013.01.003
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667113000074

This paper describes Cretaceous mammal-like tracks from southern
Tunisia. The tracks, referred to the Cenomanian Kerker Member of the
Zebbag Formation, are the first mammal-like footprints reported from
the Cretaceous of North Africa. The good preservation of the two
tracks and their distinctive morphology support their attribution to a
mammalian trackmaker, although the limited available data prevents
attribution to a specific ichnotaxon. Morphologically, the Tunisian
tracks resemble those of modern Mustelidae, however, based on
mammalian faunas in the Cretaceous of Africa, they probably have
affinity with members of Multituberculate family. Theropod dinosaur
and bird tracks occur on the same track-bearing layer. The sediments
are interpreted as an arid tidal flat environment, suggesting that
African mammals might have shared their environment with a diverse
fauna of larger animals.