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[dinosaur] Large mammaliamorph, crocodylomorph, dinosaur tracks from Early Cretaceous of Angola

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Octávio Mateus, Marco Marzola, Anne S. Schulp, Louis L. Jacobs, Michael J. Polcyn, Vladimir Pervov, António Olímpio Gonçalves & Maria Luisa Morais (2017)
Angolan ichnosite in a diamond mine shows the presence of a large terrestrial mammaliamorph, a crocodylomorph, and sauropod dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of Africa.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.12.049


The first fossil tracks from Angola. Unexpected associated to a diamond mine.
The Early Cretaceous tracks preserved in crater sediments of the kimberlite volcano.
Large mammaliamorph, in size of modern raccoons, unexpected for the Early Cretaceous.
Two sauropod trackways (one with skin impression).
Two new ichnotaxa: mammaliamorph and crocodylomorph.


We report here new and the first mammaliamorph tracks from the Early Cretaceous of Africa. The tracksite, that also bears crocodylomorph and sauropod dinosaurian tracks, is in the Catoca diamond mine, Lunda Sul Province, Angola. The mammaliamorph tracks have a unique morphology, attributed to Catocapes angolanus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. and present an anterolateral projection of digit I and V. The tracks with an average length of 2.7 cm and width of 3.2 cm are the largest mammaliamorph tracks known from the Early Cretaceous unmatched in size in the skeletal fossil record. The crocodylomorph trackways and tracks are attributed to Angolaichnus adamanticus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. (‘ichnofamily’ Batrachopodidae) and present a functionally pentadactyl pes, an extremely outwardly rotated handprint, and an unusual tetradactyl and plantigrade manus. One medium-sized sauropod dinosaur trackway preserved skin impressions of a trackmaker with stride length of 1.6 m; a second is that of a small-sized sauropod trackmaker with a pace length of 75 cm.