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Tyrannosaurid trackways show gregarious behavior and walking gait



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New in PLoS ONE:

Richard T. McCrea, Lisa G. Buckley, James O. Farlow, Martin G.
Lockley, Philip J. Currie, Neffra A. Matthews & S. George Pemberton
(2014)
A ‘Terror of Tyrannosaurs’: The First Trackways of Tyrannosaurids and
Evidence of Gregariousness and Pathology in Tyrannosauridae.
PLoS ONE 9(7): e103613.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103613
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0103613



The skeletal record of tyrannosaurids is well-documented, whereas
their footprint record is surprisingly sparse. There are only a few
isolated footprints attributed to tyrannosaurids and, hitherto, no
reported trackways. We report the world’s first trackways attributable
to tyrannosaurids, and describe a new ichnotaxon attributable to
tyrannosaurids. These trackways are from the Upper Cretaceous
(Campanian - Maastrichtian) of northeastern British Columbia, Canada.
One trackway consists of three tridactyl footprints, and two adjacent
trackways consist of two footprints each. All three trackways show
animals bearing southeast within an 8.5 meter-wide corridor.
Similarities in depth and preservation of the tyrannosaurid tracks
indicate that these three trackways were made by track-makers walking
concurrently in the same direction. These trackways add significantly
to previous osteology-based hypotheses of locomotion and behavior in
Tyrannosauridae by providing ichnologic support for gregariousness in
tyrannosaurids, and the first record of the walking gait of
tyrannosaurids.