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Theropod and sauropod tracks from Jiaguan Formation (Lower Cretaceous), China

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Lida Xing, Guangzhao Peng, Martin G. Lockley, Yong Ye, Hendrik Klein,
Richard T. McCrea, Jianping Zhang & W. Scott Persons IV (2015)
Saurischian (theropod–sauropod) track assemblages from the Jiaguan
Formation in the Sichuan Basin, Southwest China: ichnology and
indications to differential track preservation.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)

Saurischian (theropod and sauropod) tracks and trackways from the
Jiaguan Formation (Lower Cretaceous) of the Sichuan Basin are exposed
as natural casts with associated undertrack or transmitted print
casts. The theropod tracks (cf. Eubrontes and Grallator) were left by
differently sized trackmakers. This is a further example for the
occurrence of characteristic Lower Jurassic ichnotaxa in the
Cretaceous that obviously had a more extended stratigraphic range in
East Asia. The sauropod trackway is tentatively assigned to cf.
Brontopodus based on imprint morphology and (nearly wide) gauge. The
tracks, however, allow a detailed study of their formation and the
taphonomic processes under different substrate conditions.
Differential preservation and erosion of primary sedimentary
structures, and post-burial deformation structures, give insight into
a complex preservational history during a low energy phase
interrupting the deposition of a sequence of thick high energy
sandstones. This is the sixth report of dinosaur tracks from the
Jiaguan Formation and the fifteenth report from the Lower Cretaceous
of Sichuan Province. Thus, the tetrapod ichnological record in this
region is rapidly becoming of major importance for our knowledge of
dinosaur faunas in south-western China.