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[dinosaur] Dinosaur tracks from China + pelycosaur tracks from Pennsylvania, Virginia + Triassic tracks from Germany

Ben Creisler

Some recent papers on trackways:

The first four papers have free pdfs at the links:

Xing, L.D., Lockley, M.G., Hu, S.J., Li, Q.F., Persons, W.S.IV. (2016) 
Early Jurassic Anomoepus track from the Fengjiahe Formation of Northern Central Yunnan, China. 
Sullivan, R.M. and Lucas, S.G., eds., 2016, Fossil Record 5. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 74: 327–330  

Photographs, newspaper reports and other unpublished documentation indicate the presence of hitherto undocumented tridactyl tracks from the Lower Jurassic Fengjiahe Formation at Dianwen Village in Yunnan Province China. Our analyses of these records allow us to assign some of the better preserved tracks to Anomoepus isp. indet. This report adds to the growing number of reports of ichnogenus Anomoepus from the Lower and Middle Jurassic rocks of southern China. These occurrences indicate that small ornithischian dinosaurs were a significant component of these Early and Middle Jurassic faunas.


Xing, L.D., Lockley, M.G., Klein, H., Zhang, J.P., Persons, W.S.IV (2016) 
A new ornithischian–dominated and theropod footprint assemblage from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation of China. 
Sullivan, R.M. and Lucas, S.G., eds., 2016, Fossil Record 5. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 74: 331–338.

Ornithischian- and theropod-dominated footprint assemblages from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation of Yunnan Province, China, differ significantly from the skeletal record of the same region. Ornithischian tracks assigned to Shenmuichnus wangi are the most common track type (52%), while small Anomoepus-type tracks account for 31%. Large Eubrontes-like theropod tracks make up about 17% of the assemblage. The track record of the Lufeng Basin currently lacks evidence corresponding to basal sauropodomorphs and basal sauropods, even though they are the most abundant skeletal fossils.

Xing, L.D., McCrea, R.T., Lockley, M.G., Lu, T.Q., Burns, M.E., Peng, G.Z., Zhang, J.P. (2016) 
A possible ankylosaurian (Thyreophora) trackway from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation of Emei, southwest China: paleoecological implications. 
Sullivan, R.M. and Lucas, S.G., eds., 2016, Fossil Record 5. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 74: 339–343

Ankylosaurian trackways are rare in the Cretaceous red beds of China, and in Asia, in general. Here we report on a possible thyreophoran (ankylosaurian) trackway from the Jiaguan Formation of Sichuan Province, China inferred from an important historical (1970s) report, the first dealing with tracks from this formation. The Jiaguan Formation has recently become well known for an abundance of saurischian-dominated tracksites, indicating that the 1970s report is anomalous. Nevertheless, the record describes a trackway, which represents a large animal with a wide pes up to ~41 cm and a transverse morphology (length/width ~0.8). The trackway is unusual because of the lack of visible manus tracks, perhaps due to preservational factors. The rarity of such trackway morphotypes in China is attributed to the facies preference of Cretaceous ankylosaurians for organic-rich coastal plain substrates,which abound in North America where ankylosaur dominated ichnofacies have been defined.


Xing, L.D., Lockley, M.G., Peng, G.Z., Ye, Y., Zhang, J.P., Matsukawa, M., Klein, H., McCrea, R.T., Persons, W.S.IV. (2016) 
Eubrontes and Anomoepus track assemblages from the Middle Jurassic Xiashaximiao Formation of Zizhong County, Sichuan, China: review, ichnotaxonomy and notes on preserved tail traces. 
Sullivan, R.M. and Lucas, S.G., eds., 2016, Fossil Record 5. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 74: 345–352

The Nianpanshan dinosaur tracksite, first studied in the 1980s, was designated as the type locality of the monospecific ichnogenus Jinlijingpus, and the source of another tridactyl track, Chuanchengpus, both presumably of theropod affinity. After the site was mapped in 2001, these two ichnotaxa were considered synonyms of Eubrontes and Anomoepus, respectively, the latter designation being the first identification of this ichnogenus in China. The assemblage indicates a typical Jurassic ichnofauna. The present study reinvestigates the site in the light of the purported new ichnospecies Chuanchengpus shenglingensis that was introduced in 2012. After reevaluation of the morphological and extramorphological features, C. shenglingensis is considered here as a nomen dubium. The present study also provides details of tail traces associated with two of the Anomoepus trackways and adds additional detail to the 2001 tracksite map.


Spencer G. Lucas, Albert D. Kollar, David S. Berman and Amy C. Henrici (2016)

Pelycosaurian-Grade (Amniota: Synapsida) Footprints from the Lower Permian Dunkard Group of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Annals of Carnegie Museum 83 (4): 287–294

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2992/007.083.0404



The Lower Permian Dunkard Group has yielded a sparse record of tetrapod footprints that are assigned to the ichnogenera Dimetropus Romer and Price, 1940, Dromopus Marsh, 1894, and Limnopus Marsh, 1894. We report two new occurrences of Dimetropus that significantly extend its stratigraphic range in the Dunkard Group to the Washington and Greene formations. The only previous Dunkard record of Dimetropus is of D. berea (Tilton, 1931), the type ichnospecies of the ichnogenus, from the Waynesburg Formation of West Virginia. Dimetropus (eupelycosaur), Dromopus (araeoscelid), and Limnopus (large temnospondyl) footprints are present in many Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian footprint assemblages. The Dunkard footprints of Dimetropus reported here are very large for the ichnogenus, so it seems likely they were made by one of the relatively large eupelycosaurs, Dimetrodon Cope, 1877, Ophiacodon Marsh, 1878, or Ctenospondylus Romer, 1936, known from Dunkard Group body fossils.



Hendrik Klein and Volker Kneidl  (2015) [2016]

Tetrapodenfährten aus den Estherienschichten (Obertrias, Grabfeld-Formation) der Tongrube Barbaraberg (Speinshart, NO-Bayern) -- Profilneuaufnahme, Bildungsmilieu und Hinweise zur Palökologie. 

[Tetrapod footprints from the Estherienschichten (Upper Triassic, Grabfeld Formation) from the Barbaraberg clay pit (Speinshart  NE Bavaria)...] 

Geologische Blätter für Nordost-Bayern 65(2-4): 93-130


Tetrapod footprints from the Estherienschichten of the Upper Grabfeld Formation (Upper Triassic, Carnian) at the Barbaraberg clay pit near Speinshart (northeastern Bavaria) are described and ichnotaxonomically evaluated for the first time. A sandstone slab shows 4-6 tridactyl pes imprints (100 mm in length and width). These are the footprints of archosaurs (chirotheres) preserved as convex hyporelief on the lower surface of the slab. They are identified as incomplete imprints similar to Parachirotherium postchirotherioides, known from the underlying Benker Sandstein. Parachirotherium is typically pentadactyl but functionally tridactyl with short digits I and V that are frequently missing. The section at the clay pit was re-documented and correlated with data from former studies. Thereby, a further footprint horizon with small (12 mm length) lacertoid imprints (Rhynchosauroides isp.) was discovered. Presently, the Barbaraberg section is exposed with a 18,66 m thick succession, consisting of black-grey and reddish siltstone with intercalations of marl-carbonate and coarse clastic sandstone layers. The sandstone beds represent offsets of the marginal Benk Formation in the southeastern part of the region toward the Bohemian-Vindelician Massif. >From base to top, different depositional cycles including a twofold fining-upward cycle are identified: Sandstone-pelite (A) – pelite-marl (B) – sandstone-pelite (C) – pelitecarbonate (D). The section implies a trend toward dryer climate. During deposition of the Estherienschichten, the study area was characterized by arid climate with drainless playas and halite and occasional gypsum precipitation. Additionally limnic and pedogenic carbonate horizons were accumulated while ephemeral sheet floods from water-bearing upland valleys deposited coarse clastica (sand). The trackmakers from Barbaraberg were occasionally foraging in this area, their general habitat supposedly being higher altitudes of the Bohemian-Vindelician Massif.