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Hadrosaur herd structure from polar Alaska tracksite (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new online paper with free pdf:

Anthony R. Fiorillo, Stephen T. Hasiotis, and Yoshitsugu Kobayashi (2014)
Herd structure in Late Cretaceous polar dinosaurs: A remarkable new
dinosaur tracksite, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA.
Geology (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1130/G35740.1

The discovery of a new tracksite of mostly hadrosaurid dinosaur
footprints, made by a herd living in an ancient high-latitude
continental ecosystem, provides insight into the herd structure and
behavior of northern polar dinosaurs and perspective on populations of
large-bodied herbivores in an Arctic greenhouse world. This tracksite
occurs in the Upper Cretaceous Cantwell Formation in the Alaska Range
(Denali National Park, Alaska, United States), and it is the largest
tracksite known from this far north. Preservation of the tracksite is
exceptional: most tracks, regardless of size, contain skin impressions
and they co-occur with well-preserved plant fossils and invertebrate
trace fossils of terrestrial and aquatic insects. Statistical analyses
of the tracks show that individuals of four different age classes of
hadrosaurids lived together in a large social group. Our research
results independently corroborate the growth curve for hadrosaurids
proposed by paleohistologists that suggests that these dinosaurs
experienced a period of rapid growth early in their life history.