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Dinosaur, bird, pterosaur tracks from Lower Cretaceous of Xinjiang, China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:



Li-Da Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Jian-Ping Zhang, Qing
He, Julien D. Divay, Li-Qi Qi & Cheng-Kai Jia (2013)
Dinosaur, bird and pterosaur footprints from the Lower Cretaceous of
Wuerhe asphaltite area, Xinjiang, China, with notes on overlapping
track relationships.
Palaeoworld (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2013.03.001
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X13000048



An assemblage with well-preserved dinosaur, bird and pterosaur
footprints has been found in deposits of the upper Tugulu Group (Lower
Cretaceous) of the Wuerhe asphaltite area (Junggar Basin, Xinjiang,
northwestern China). The dinosaur footprints are similar to the
theropod ichnogenus Jialingpus, and the bird footprints to
shorebird-like footprints. The isolated tridactyl imprint of a
pterosaur manus resembles the ichnogenus Pteraichnus. All morphotypes
are also known from another locality in the Junggar Basin, the
Huangyangquan tracksite. The different size-classes of theropod
footprints are inferred to indicate adult and juvenile individuals.
The paleoenvironment was clearly favorable for the co-existence of
mixed-age theropod communities, shorebird-like birds, and pterosaurs.
An interesting feature is the unusual preservational mode and overlap
of footprints that show plastic deformation without fracturing.