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[dinosaur] Dinosaur tracksite from Abruzzi in Italy

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Paolo Citton, Marco Romano, Roberto Carluccio, Francesca D'Ajello Caracciolo, Iacopo Nicolosi, Umberto Nicosia, Eva Sacchi, Giulio Speranza& Fabio Speranza (2017)
The first dinosaur tracksite from Abruzzi (Monte Cagno, Central Apennines, Italy).
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2017.01.002


The first dinosaur tracksite from Abruzzi is described.
Aerial survey and Digital Photogrammetry were applied to study the tracksite.
Specific track morphologies suggest different trackmakers' behavioural attitudes.
Interpretations about elongated dinosaur tracks have been rediscussed.
Track length indicates the largest theropod documented from the Mesozoic of Italy.


A new Lower Cretaceous (lower Aptian) dinosaur tracksite, from the eastern side of Monte Cagno (Abruzzi, Italy), is described. Different styles of track formation are represented on the site surface. Most of the footprints are preserved as deep tracks, produced by trackmakers sinking into soft mud. Some tracks, better preserved than the others, are characterized by metatarsal impressions and were interpreted as the resting traces of a crouching theropod (based on their orientation and three-dimensional morphology). The 135 cm length of the track with metatarsal impressions indicates huge pedal proportions and represents the largest theropod trackmaker ever documented from the Mesozoic peri-Adriatic platforms of Italy.