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Dinosaur Footprint Assemblages from Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary in China

Ben Creisler

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.

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.