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Sauropod tracks from Middle Jurassic found on Isle of Skye in Scotland (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Stephen L. Brusatte, Thomas J. Challands, Dugald A. Ross, and Mark
Wilkinson (2015)
Sauropod dinosaur trackways in a Middle Jurassic lagoon on the Isle of
Skye, Scotland.
Scottish Journal of Geology (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1144/sjg2015-005

free pdf:

The Middle Jurassic was a dynamic interval in dinosaur evolution, but
the dinosaur fossil record from this time is extremely poor throughout
the world. The Isle of Skye (Scotland) preserves marginal marine and
terrestrial deposits of Middle Jurassic age, which have yielded sparse
bones, teeth, footprints and small segments of trackways belonging to
dinosaurs. We report the discovery of the most extensive dinosaur
fossil site yet known in Scotland: a coastal outcrop of the Duntulm
Formation (Bathonian) at Cairidh Ghlumaig, Skye that preserves
numerous trackways of sauropod dinosaurs in multiple layers deposited
in a lagoonal system. We present an initial description of these
tracks and identify them as most likely belonging to a primitive,
non-neosauropod species that retained a large claw on manual digit I
and produced narrow-gauge trackways. They provide additional evidence
that basal sauropods persisted deep into the Middle Jurassic, a time
when the earliest members of larger and more derived sauropod lineages
were radiating. The new Skye tracks document multiple generations of
sauropods living within the lagoonal environments of Jurassic
Scotland, and along with other tracks found over the past two decades,
suggest that sauropods may have frequented such environments, contrary
to their image as land-bound behemoths.


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