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Vertebrate footprints from Cretaceous Kem Kem beds in Morocco

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Matteo Belvedere, Nour-Eddine Jalil, Anna Breda, Giovanni Gattolin, ,
Hélène Bourget, Fatima Khaldoune & Gareth J. Dyke (2013)
Vertebrate footprints from the Kem Kem beds (Morocco): A novel
ichnological approach to faunal reconstruction.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.04.026

The first survey of vertebrate fossil tracks and trackways from the
well-known Kem Kem beds of southern Morocco is here presented. The
aims are to: (1) discuss the diversity of vertebrate trackmakers
represented in two trace-yielding units at three localities, and (2)
apply the novel data to ongoing debates about vertebrate ecological
associations within the Kem Kem. The majority of the tracks we
recorded from the Kem Kem are tridactyl theropod footprints; other
dinosaurian track records include those of possible ornithopod
dinosaurs, extremely rare as body fossils within Kem Kem collections.
Traces of swimming turtles are reported, alongside the first tracks of
crocodyliforms and pterosaurs to be recorded from the Moroccan
Cretaceous (both unsurprising given their abundance as body fossils
record in this region). Differences between the collected ichnological
sample and faunal reconstructions made on the basis of skeletal
evidence are discussed; as trace fossils record the same environment
in which the trackmaker lived (i.e. not subject to post-mortem
transportation), data of this type arguably provide a more precise
palaeoecological sample than the heavily re-worked and usually
fragmentary body fossils from the Kem Kem.