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Fwd: Dinosaur natural track casts from Lower Cretaceous of China

Another DML posting that did not get through today it appears...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 8:55 AM
Subject: Dinosaur natural track casts from Lower Cretaceous of China
To: dinosaur@usc.edu

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Lida Xing, Daqing Li, Martin G. Lockley, Daniel Marty, Jianping Zhang,
W. Scott Persons, Hailu You, Cuo Peng & Susanna B. Kümmell (2015)
Dinosaur natural track casts from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group in
the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin, Gansu, Northwest China: Ichnology, track
formation, and distribution.
Cretaceous Research 52(A): 194–205
DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2014.10.001

Multiple dinosaur tracksites are known from the red beds (sandstones
and siltstones) of the Hekou Group in the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin in Gansu
Province, China. Among these, the most famous is the Yanguoxia No. 1 &
2 tracksite, which has an abundance of tracks from a diverse
ichnofauna. Here, we describe natural casts from six new tracksites
including three located near the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksites and
three from more distant tracksites (located up to 40 km from
Yanguoxia). The new tracksites have all yielded isolated, large
dinosaur track casts, two of which are tridactyl tracks of ornithopod
and/or theropod affinity, while another eight casts are pes and manus
tracks of medium-to large-sized sauropods. The predominance of
sauropod track casts may reflect the fact that, by simple virtue of
their large size, sauropods tracks resist weathering and are easy to
find. Notably, the sauropod track casts are deep natural tracks left
in soft and moist substrates with a relatively high cohesiveness. They
offer a glimpse into the three-dimensional foot morphology of the
sauropod trackmakers and their foot movement (locomotion), and thus
are an important complement to the tracks preserved as (shallow)
impressions and the trackways of the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksite.
The new tracksites suggest a lower ecological diversity than would be
inferred from the Yanguoxia No. 1 & 2 tracksite. However, it is
assumed that this apparent low diversity is an artifact resulting from
the small sample area and the fact that all the outcrops are
cross-sections where bedding planes – that could reveal small tracks
and more abundant tracks and trackways – are scarce and limited to
small surfaces. These new sites suggest that the distribution and
frequency of dinosaur tracks within the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin is much
wider than previously assumed and that many more dinosaur tracksites
are likely to be discovered within the basin in the future.