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Dinosaur Tracksites from the Upper Jurassic of Eastern Turkmenistan

From: Ben Creisler

A new paper in Ichnos:

Federico Fanti, Michela Contessi, Aman Nigarov & Paltamet Esenov (2013)
New Data on Two Large Dinosaur Tracksites from the Upper Jurassic of
Eastern Turkmenistan (Central Asia).
Ichnos 20 (2): 54-71

In this study, we present new data on the Hojapil-Ata dinosaur
mega-tracksite located in the Koitendag National Park of eastern
Turkmenistan, central Asia. Accurate GPS mapping, three-dimensional
data on preserved tracks, and comparison with previous studies
provides now a detailed database for this site. The track-bearing
surface, Upper Jurassic in age, is discontinuously exposed over an
area of 28.500 square meters, with 24 trackways and at least 913
footprints preserved. The collected data support the previously
identified co-occurrence of the two ichnogenera Megalosauripus and
Therangospodus and allow us to propose an amended systematic
description of M. uzbekistanicus. In addition, a previously unreported
site located a few km to the east of the main tracksite is described.
The track-bearing surface extends over 24.000 square meters, and 34
trackways and 730 footprints have been mapped. These two sites
represent the sole evidence of dinosaurs in Turkmenistan and they are
among the largest in the world. Data collected for this study document
that both localities are deteriorating at an increasing rate due to
natural erosion and human activities. High-resolution laser scanner
and digital photogrammetry allowed for the realization of comparable
digital 3D models of dinosaur track to guarantee their fruition for
future research.