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Asianopodus-type theropod tracks from Gansu, China

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Li-Da Xing, Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Jian-Ping Zhang,
Xiong-Fei Cai, W. Scott Persons Iv & Yong Ye (2014)
Asianopodus-type footprints from the Hekou Group of Honggu District,
Lanzhou City, Gansu, China and the "heel" of large theropod tracks.
Palaeoworld (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1016/j.palwor.2014.08.003

An increasing number of dinosaur tracksites have been reported from
the Cretaceous Hekou Group deposits of the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin in the
Gansu Province region. These include small sites such as the Huazhuang
tracksite, from the Honggu District reported here, the Zhongpu
tracksite with multiple track levels but few well-preserved tracks,
other small tracksites currently under investigation, and the large
and diverse Liujixia National Dinosaur Geopark site at Yanguoxia,
where intensive study is ongoing. Collectively these sites reveal that
ichnofaunas in the Hekou Group are widespread and diverse. The
Huazhuang tracksite yields a small assemblage of moderately
well-preserved theropod tracks assigned to Asianopodus. This is the
first report of Asianopodus from the Hekou Group. Huazhuang
Asianopodus belongs to the Eubrontes morphotype. The large theropod
tracks from Lanzhou-Minhe Basin were left by large theropod
trackmakers with the same general foot morphology. The specimens are
described in detail and compared with other theropod track morphotypes
from the Lower Cretaceous of China and elsewhere. In general, although
the metatarsophalangeal pads of some Jurassic Eubrontes-type tracks
are aligned with the axis of digit III, this feature appears most
common in the Early Cretaceous theropod (Eubrontes-type) tracks.