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Dinosaur tracks from Langenberg Quarry from Late Jurassic, Germany (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:

Jens N. Lallensack, P. Martin Sander, Nils Knötschke, and Oliver Wings (2015)
Dinosaur tracks from the Langenberg Quarry (Late Jurassic, Germany)
reconstructed with historical photogrammetry: Evidence for large
theropods soon after insular dwarfism.
Palaeontologia Electronica 18.2.31A: 1-34
doi: palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1166-langenberg-tracks
http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1166-langenberg-tracks

Here we describe dinosaur tracks from the Langenberg Quarry near
Goslar (Lower Saxony) that represent the first footprints from the
Late Jurassic of Germany discovered outside the Wiehen Mountains. The
footprints are preserved in Kimmeridgian marginal marine carbonates.
They vary in length from 36 to 47 cm and were made by theropod
dinosaurs. The original tracksite with 20 footprints was destroyed by
quarrying soon after its discovery in 2003. Only the five best defined
footprints were excavated. Based on scanned-in analog photographs
which were taken during the excavation, a three-dimensional (3-D)
model of the original tracksite was generated by applying historical
photogrammetry. The resulting model is accurate enough to allow a
detailed description of the original tracksite. Different preservation
types result from changing substrate properties and include both
well-defined footprints and deeply impressed footprints with elongated
heel and variably defined digit impressions. The tracksite was
discovered stratigraphically close to the bone accumulation of the
dwarfed sauropod dinosaur Europasaurus holgeri and probably records a
sea level fall along with a faunal interchange, which would likely
have eliminated the resident dwarf island fauna. The two largest and
best preserved footprints differ from most other Late Jurassic
theropod footprints in their great width. Two different trackmaker
species might have been present at the site. Several hypotheses
presented in a recent paper on Late Jurassic dinosaur tracks from the
Wiehen Mountains by Diedrich (2011b) are commented upon herein.