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[dinosaur] Middle Triassic tetrapod footprints from Germany + trace fossils from Carboniferous of Italy

Ben Creisler

New papers:

Hendrik Klein & Spencer G. Lucas (2017)
Diverse Middle Triassic Tetrapod Footprint Assemblage from the Muschelkalk of Germany
Ichnos (advance online publication)
doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10420940.2017.1337632   

We describe a Middle Triassic tetrapod footprint assemblage from the Muschelkalk along the margin of the Germanic Basin. Twelve excavated footprint levels yielded the ichnogenera Synaptichnium, Isochirotherium, Chirotherium, Atreipus-Grallator, Rotodactylus, Gwyneddichnium, Rhynchosauroides, Procolophonichnium, therapsid footprints similar to Dicynodontipus, an undetermined chirotheriid with exceptionally large manus imprints and tetrapod swim traces. Track makers of the Muschelkalk assemblages were archosauromorphs and crown-group archosaurs and synapsids. The absence of mudcracks and the high diversity of tetrapods suggest a paleoenvironment with long-term availability of water and food resources.


Lorenzo Marchetti, Fabio Massimo Petti, Daniel Zoboli & Gian Luigi Pillola (2017)
Vertebrate and Invertebrate Trace Fossils in the Late Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) Fluvio-Lacustrine San Giorgio Basin (South-West Sardinia): Remarks on the Oldest Continental Ichnoassociation of Italy.
Ichnos (advance online publication)
doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10420940.2017.1337572   

A new study of the ichnotaxonomy and palaeoecology of the Late Pennsylvanian San Giorgio Basin's trace fossils was carried out. The tetrapod tracks were attributed to Batrachichnus salamandroides and to indet. tracks with a possible small temnospondyl and/or lepospondyl affinity. The invertebrate trace fossils include locomotion traces (Diplichnites isp.), grazing traces (Cochlichnus anguineus), and feeding structures (Treptichnus bifurcus, Treptichnus isp.). The trace fossils were evaluated by means of ichnofacies, highlighting a transitional Scoyenia-Mermia ichnofacies, typical of Carboniferous freshwater settings. The trace fossil co-occurrence and taphonomy was utilized to give a new interpretation of the fossil-bearing lithofacies, which are dolomitic mudstones-fine sandstones _expression_ of marginal lacustrine environments repeatedly subject to flooding (three different ichnoassociations highlight different bathymetry/emersion). This is the oldest continental ichnoassociation of Italy, and its moderately high diversity and complexity suggest further study of this important Carboniferous trace fossil locality.