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Theropod-sauropod track assemblage from Jurassic of Yunnan Province, China



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

Li-Da Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Jian-Ping Zhang, Hendrik Klein, Tao
Wang, Susanna B. Kümmell & Michael E. Burns (2015)
A theropod-sauropod track assemblage from the?Middle–Upper Jurassic
Shedian Formation at Shuangbai, Yunnan Province, China, reflecting
different sizes of trackmakers: review and new observations.
Palaeoworld (advance online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2015.05.003
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X15000384

A dinosaur tracksite at Hemenkou (Shuangbai County, Yunnan Province)
in the?Middle–Upper Jurassic Shedian Formation that consists mainly of
gray-purple feldspathic quartz sandstones was previously reported
incorrectly as being in the Lower Cretaceous Puchanghe Formation. The
previous assignment is also inconsistent with two regional geological
maps. Although mostly yielding poorly preserved tracks, the site
nevertheless indicates a diversity of theropod and sauropod
trackmakers partly consistent with the Late Jurassic body fossils from
the region. Purported ornithopod are re-evaluated here as those of
theropods. The theropod tracks and trackways show distinct
similarities to those of the Grallator–Eubrontes plexus and can be
subdivided into three morphotypes that may reflect different pes
anatomy and/or substrate conditions. Two sizes of tracks (small,
large) indicate the presence of different size classes or species in
this area in the Late Jurassic. Similarly, the sauropod trackways
document three differently sized trackmakers (small–medium–large)
showing a typical wide-gauge (Brontopodus) pattern. The track record
is the first evidence of theropods in the?Middle–Late Jurassic of
central Yunnan, whereas the sauropod tracks suggest a relation to the
coeval basal eusauropods known from this region by skeletal remains.