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[dinosaur] Otter Sandstone biota (Middle Triassic, England) + pterosaur tracks from Cretaceous of Morocco





Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


Some recent papers:


Robert A. Coram, Jonathan D. Radley & Michael J. Benton (2017)
The Middle Triassic (Anisian) Otter Sandstone biota (Devon, UK): review, recent discoveries and ways ahead.
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (advance online publication)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2017.06.007
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016787817300925

free pdf:
http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/Benton/reprints/2017Otter.pdf


The Middle Triassic (Anisian) Otter Sandstone was laid down mostly by braided rivers in a desert environment and is now well exposed along the south-east Devon coast in south-west England, part of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ World Heritage Site. It yields uncommon and generally fragmentary fossils, principally of vertebrates, including fish, temnospondyl amphibians and reptiles such as rhynchosaurs, predatory archosaurs, and small superficially lizard-like forms. These provide important information about a freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem that marks recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction, but pre-dated the appearance of dinosaurs and mammals. The constantly eroding Otter Sandstone exposures continue to reveal new taxa (for example, freshwater sharks). Furthermore, microvertebrate material obtained by sieving bone-bearing levels has the potential to further expand the faunal list. Newly discovered associated and articulated vertebrate remains, including small tetrapods, improve knowledge of whole-body anatomy and facilitate systematic work. Invertebrate burrows and reptile footprints provide information on ecological interactions and detailed bed-by-bed collecting casts light on taphonomic processes and faunal changes over time.


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Moussa Masrour, Carlos Pascual-Arribas, Marc de Ducla, Nieves Hernández-Medrano & Félix Pérez-Lorente (2017)
Anza palaeoichnological site. Late Cretaceous. Morocco. Part I. The first African pterosaur trackway (manus only).
Journal of African Earth Sciences (advance online publication)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2017.07.004
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1464343X17302893

Highlights

The second reported occurrence of pterosaurs tracksites in the Upper Cretaceous of Africa, extending the existence in time of such traces from the Coniacian-Santonian to the Maastrichtian.

Abstract

Cretaceous pterosaurs tracksites are very rare worldwide. Until now,only one African Cretaceous site with tracks of (Agadirichnus elegans and Pteraichnus) was known. This makes the discovery of a new outcrop in the Upper Cretaceous of Anza (Morocco) the third manifestation of this type of footprint in Africa, extending the existence of such traces from the Coniacian-Santonian to the Maastrichtian. The site contains only manus tracks, which can be explained as a result of erosion of pes prints. The lack of pes prints and the morphometric characteristics of the manus prints only allow us to relate these prints to Agadirichnus, Pteraichnus or maybe to a new ichnogenus. It is possible that the trackmakers are related to Ornithocheiroidea or Azhdarchoidea superfamilies whose fossil bones have been found from the Late Cretaceous in Morocco.