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Dinosaur Footprint Assemblages from Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary in China



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New in PLoS ONE:




Lida Xing , Jianping Zhang, Martin G. Lockley, Richard T. McCrea,
Hendrik Klein, Luis Alcalá, Lisa G. Buckley, Michael E. Burns, Susanna
B. Kümmell & Qing He (2015)
Hints of the Early Jehol Biota: Important Dinosaur Footprint
Assemblages from the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary Tuchengzi Formation
in Beijing, China.
PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122715.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122715
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122715


New reports of dinosaur tracksites in the Tuchengzi Formation in the
newly established Yanqing Global Geopark, Beijing, China, support
previous inferences that the track assemblages from this formation are
saurischian-dominated. More specifically, the assemblages appear
theropod-dominated, with the majority of well-preserved tracks
conforming to the Grallator type (sensus lato), thus representing
relatively small trackmakers. Such ichnofaunas supplement the skeletal
record from this unit that lacks theropods thus far, proving a larger
diversity of dinosaur faunas in that region. Sauropods are represented
by medium to large sized and narrow and wide-gauge groups,
respectively. The latter correspond with earlier discoveries of
titanosauriform skeletons in the same unit. Previous records of
ornithischian tracks cannot be positively confirmed. Purported
occurrences are re-evaluated here, the trackways and imprints, except
of a single possible specimen, re-assigned to theropods.
Palecologically the Tuchengzi ichnofauna is characteristic of
semi-arid fluvio-lacustrine inland basins with Upper Jurassic-Lower
Cretaceous deposits in northern China that all show assemblages with
abundant theropod and sauropod tracks and minor components of
ornithopod, pterosaur and bird tracks.