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Dinosaur tracks from Shandong Province, China (CORRECTED VERSION)

From: Ben Creisler

An additional complication with some Chinese journals is that they are
available from multiple websites.

After a bit more exploration of Chinese websites, I found the official
English titles and abstracts for the articles in the Journal of
Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) about dinosaur tracks found in
Shandong Province.

As I anticipated, some of the original rough translations via Google
Translate did not accurately indicate the more complicated
geographical names that include villages and county names. They are
fixed in these official English title versions.

I also found open access links to the pdfs for the papers but they
download VERY slowly (at least today on my broadband).

SO...here is a corrected and more complete version of the references
in my earlier posting. (And I hope there are no embedded oddities in
the text to cause display problems in plain text.)


Kuang Hongwei,   Liu Yongqing,   Wu Qingzi,   Cheng Guangsuo,   Xu
Kemin,   Liu Hai ,  Peng Nan ,  Xu Huan,   Chen Jun ,  Wang Baohong ,
Xu Jialin ,  Wang Mingwei & Zhang Peng (2013)
Dinosaur track sites and palaeogeography of the late Early Cretaceous
in Shuhe Rifting Zone of Shandong Province.
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 435-453

link with free pdf:

Eight dinosaur track sites in the upper Lower Cretaceous(Dasheng
Group) were found along the 300 km- long northeast-trending Shuhe
Rifting Zone in the south-central Shandong Province according to the
recent field investigations. Five track sites among them were newly
discovered. Especially, the huge sauropod footprints with the diameter
about 1.0m in Tancheng, may be the second to the biggest sauropod
footprints from Yanguoxia, Gansu, China.The footprints were marked in
the Tianjialou Formation of Dasheng Group during the maximum flooding
period, about 110-100Ma (Aptian-Albian).The footprints were mostly
concave,  mainly from sauropod, secondly from theropod and ornithopod.
Most dinosaurs meandered slowly. Generally,  footprints existed in the
fine sandstone and siltstone, always accompanied by ripples, mud
cracks and rain prints.The in-situ preservation of footprints and the
sedimentary characteristics showed that dinosaurs lived in the lake
shore environments where would be the better preservation sites for
footprints.The climate at the late Early Cretaceous in this area were
from warm humid to hot arid. Comparing with other preservation
environment in the same period, it proved that dinosaur faunas had
distributed in an even wider area with similar palaeogeography in the
Early Cretaceous.


Wang Baohong,  Liu Yongqing,  Kuang Hongwei, Wang Kebai,  Chen
Shuqing,  Zhang Yanxia, Peng Nan,  Xu Huan,  Chen Jun,  Liu Hai,  Xu
Jialin & Wang Mingwei (2013)
New discovery and its significance of dinosaur footprint fossils in
the late Early Cretaceous at Tangdigezhuang Village of Zhucheng
County, Shandong Province.
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 454-466

link with free pdf:

In recent field investigation, sauropod footprint fossils were found
in the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group Tianjialou Formation which
consists of red sandstone, argillaceous siltstone, silty mudstone,
yellowish green silty sandstone at Tangdigezhuang Village of Zhucheng,
Shandong Province.There were 29 dinosaur footprints found in study
area, and 23 footprints of them formed a semicircle trackway from
northeast to southwest.Characteristics of the footprints suggest that
they were made by a sauropod with 3-4 meter long, when walking slowly
along lakeshore.  The footprint-bearing layer of the Dasheng Group
includes small trough cross-bedding, tabular cross-bedding, climbing
ripple bedding, horizontal bedding,  rain marks and mud cracks,
indicating a sedimentary environment of shore-shallow lake.Sandy beach
bar, beach bar edge, sand and mud mixed beach, mudflats, etc., are
subdivided, and dinosaur footprints are on the surface of the fine
sandstone and siltstone of sandy beach bar.In terms of the above
mentioned, the favorable preservation environment of dinosaur
footprints is fluvial and shore-shallow lake. Meanwhile,
characteristics of dinosaur footprints and the sedimentary environment
of footprint-bearing rock indicate a relationship of mutual
restriction between the dinosaurs living habits and environment.


Xu Huan,  Liu Yongqing,  Kuang Hongwei,  Wang Kebai,  Chen Shuqing,
Zhang Yanxia,  Peng Nan,  Chen Jun,  Wang Mingwei & Wang Baohong
Middle Early Cretaceous super-large scale dinosaur tracks in Zhucheng
area, Shandong Province, and their palaeogeography and palaeoecology.
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 467-488

link with free pdf:

Theropod, sauropod and possible ornithopod dinosaur tracks were mainly
developed in the middle Early Cretaceous Yangjiazhuang Formation,
Laiyang Group, in Zhucheng area, Shandong Province.Most of them are
theropod tracks, and belong to three types: Large sized theropod,
Paragrallator and Corpulentapus lilasia.Among the 63 trackways
identified, 50 well-preserved trackways were measured
systematically.Based on the foot size index-stride length diagram and
GAE(Grallator-Anchisauripus-Eubrontes) plexus, we obtained the
differential criteria for the theropod tracks.Large scale sections in
the track site showed that shallow lake silty mudstone and siltstone
gradually changed to shore-lacustrine sandstone.Track beds and the
upper and lower beds developed abundant wavemarks and mud
cracks.According to the wave crest, we reconstructed the
palaeoshoreline which was EW in direction.The direction of the wave
flow showed N-NW periodical change, which may be correlated with shift
in the direction of the seasonal wind.The mud crack and the feature of
dinosaur track distribution indicated that the center of the lake
should be S/WS in direction, while lakeshore should be N/NE in
direction.The differences in distribution area between Paragrallator
and Corpulentapus lilasia revealed that the Corpulentapus lilasia
track makers were living much closer to the lake shore.The phenomenon
of superposition is common among dinosaur tracks, which indicated that
the tracks were not left at the same time but in several times.Lots of
parallel small-medium sized trackways represent gregarious
habitats.Speed study showed that most of theropods were running fast,
in contrast, sauropods and suspected ornithopods were walking
slowly.The proportion between theropod tracks and sauropod and
suspected ornithopod tracks indicated that in the middle Early
Cretaceous, small-medium sized theropods were dominant in Jiaolai
Basin, while sauropods and suspected ornithopods were less;in
contrast, sauropods, ornithopods and avians gradually flourished in
Jiaolai Basin and Yishu Fault Belt, which was consistent with the
dinosaur tracks in northern North China.A comparison of the Cretaceous
dinosaur tracks and bones has been made among northern China, Korea
and Japan, proposing that a large-scale terrestrial biota represented
by dinosaur existed in northern China and eastern Asia during late



Wang Mingwei,  Kuang Hongwei,  Liu Yongqing,  Peng Nan,  Liu Hai,  Wu
Qingzi,  Xu Jialin, Chen Jun,  Xu Huan,  Wang Baohong & Zhang Peng
New discovery of dinosaur footprint fossils and palaeoenvironment in
the late Early Cretaceous at Tancheng County, Shandong Province and
Donghai County, Jiangsu Province
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 489-504

link with free pdf:

Lots of dinosaur footprints belonging to sauropod and theropod were
first discovered in the upper Lower Cretaceous in Tancheng County,
Shandong Province.The footprints vary in size. By comparing the study
between the two new dinosaur track sites in Tancheng of Shandong
Province and Nanguzhai of Jiangsu Province, we discussed the
relationship among the footprint types, size,  depth and walking
speed, and found that under the same conditions, sauropod footprints
are always deeper than those of theropod, while with the increase of
the footprint size of sauropod, the depth shows a shallowing
trend;sedimentary structures like ripples, rain marks and mud cracks,
and footprint backfilling and overlaying have relatively greater
impacts on saved forms and details, while structural deformation has
no obvious effect on footprint forms and tracks, but high angle
deformation would increase the differential weathering, making the
fossils easier to be exposed and be destroyed.The study on
palaeoenvironment and palaeoecology shows that the study area
experienced a process of water gradually shallowing and climate
changing from humid to dry with short intermittent drought,
sedimentary facies evolved from fluvio-lacustrine to delta front, and
gradually to delta plain, and the palaeo-ecological environment
gradually deteriorated, the fauna and flora declined and the amount
gradually decreased.



Chen Jun, ,  Kuang Hongwei,  Liu Yongqing,  Wu Qingzi,  Cheng
Guangsuo,  Xu Kemin,  Peng Nan,  Xu Huan,  Liu Hai,  Xu Jialin,  Wang
Mingwei,  Wang Baohong & Zhang Peng (2013)
Characteristics of dinosaur footprints of the late Early Cretaceous in
Linshu area, Shandong Province.
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 505-516

link with free pdf:

A large scale of dinosaur footprints,  which were related to the
dinosaur movements in a shore-shallow lake environment under hot
drought climate of the Dasheng Group of the late Early Cretaceous were
discovered in Linshu area, Shandong Province. In the research area,
sauropod footprints were dominant,  as well as a small number of
ornithopod footprints, ropod footprints and the ankylosaur-like
footprints. The ankylosaur footprints were very scarce in China.The
main directions of these footprints were west and southwest. Based on
the features of ornithopod and sauropod tracks,  we can conclude that
these dinosaurs were in a slowly walking state, especially the
ornithopod. The discovery of the footprints in the research area
suggested that the vertebrate animals such as dinosaurs(including
birds)were survival in China and even in East Asia in the late Early
Cretaceous,  which had great significance to reveal the terrestrial
biotas evolution in the Late Mesozoic. Footprints preservation has a
close relationship with the different sedimentary environment by
comparing with the dinosaur footprints fossil in the strata of the
late Early Cretaceous. Therefore,  research on dinosaur footprints can
provide much more information for recovering palaeoecology and
palaeogeographic environment.



Peng Nan,  Liu Yongqing,  Kuang Hongwei,  Wu Qingzi,  Liu Hai,  Chen
Jun,  Xu Huan,  Xu Jialin, Wang Mingwei,  Wang Baohong,  Wang Kebai,
Chen Shuqing & Zhang Yanxi (2013)
Differences in characteristics of dinosaur footprints in the late
Early Cretaceous, Yishu Rifting Zone, Shandong Province.
Journal of Palaeogeography (Chinese Edition) 15 (4): 517-528

link with free pdf:

In recent years, abundant dinosaur footprint fossils have been
discovered in the Lower Cretaceous (Dasheng Group), the south of Yishu
Rifting Zone, Shandong Province.Based on our research, many different
features of these footprints, including footprint types, morphology,
depth of footprints,  etc., have been noticed and listed as follows:
(1) As for the footprint makers, theropod and ornithopod tracks were
dominant in Junan County, while in Linshu, Tancheng and Donghai, the
sauropod tracks were primary. (2) As for the footprint size,  the
theropod footprints from Junan were divided into Type I and Type II,
but in Donghai, only the Type II were present.In addition, the digit
angle of theropod footprints in Junan is smaller than that in Donghai,
which may be caused by different dinosaur species.The ornithopod
footprints from Junan are smaller than those of Donghai. Moreover, the
sauropod footprints are small in Tancheng, but are similar to those of
Junan, Linshu and Donghai. (3) Because of the diverse humidity,
viscosity and sediment granularity, the depth of footprints from the
Donghai, Tancheng and Junan are various. Based on all the
above-mentioned new discovery of dinosaur footprints in Zhucheng, east
of the Yishu Rifting Zone, in early Early Cretaceous, we conclude that
a large and prosperous dinosaur fauna lived in Yishu Rifting Zone in
the Early Cretaceous. Furthermore,  the dinosaur footprints from
Shandong Province in the Early Cretaceous were excellent materials for
deeply research on distribution and evolution of the dinosaurs and
palaeogeography in the Late Mesozoic of the North China and even the
Northeast Asia.