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[dinosaur] Early Jurassic small ornithischian tracks from Yunnan Province, southwestern China

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Lida Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Peter L. Falkingham, Jeong Yul Kim, Richard T. McCrea, Jianping Zhang, W. Scott Persons, Tao Wang & Zhenzhen Wang (2016)
First Early Jurassic small ornithischian tracks from Yunnan Province, southwestern China.
PALAIOS 31 (11): 516–524
DOI: 10.2110/palo.2015.074

In 2015, a group of small predominantly tridactyl tracks was discovered in the lower Shawan Member of the Lufeng Formation during an expedition to the Dalishu area, Lufeng County, Yunnan Province, China. The tracks are attributable to Anomoepus, and although mostly tridactyl, they include a few examples with characteristic tetradactyl morphology. Although considered a characteristic index ichnotaxon of a footprint-based Lower Jurassic biochron, Anomoepus has often been overlooked in assemblages dominated by theropod tracks. This is one of the earliest Anomoepus records from the Jurassic of China, and the fifth report of Anomoepus from China at all. To date, four reports represent sites inferred to be Lower or Middle Jurassic in age, with one dated as Upper Jurassic. It is an important component of Early Jurassic ichnofaunas because it points to the presence of ornithischian trackmakers, which are often rare or missing in the local skeletal faunas (Lufengosaurus faunas).