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[dinosaur] Theropod print replication for Australovenator (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper in open access:

Matt A. White​, Alex G. Cook & Steven J. Rumbold (2017)
A methodology of theropod print replication utilising the pedal reconstruction of Australovenator and a simulated paleo-sediment. 
PeerJ 5:e3427
doi:  https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3427

Distinguishing the difference between theropod and ornithopod footprints has proved a difficult task due to their similarities. Herein our aim was to produce a method where a skeleton could be more closely matched to actual fossilised footprints. The reconstructed pes of the Australian Megaraptoran Australovenator wintonensis was utilised for this footprint reconstruction. It was 3-D printed in life size, molded and cast to produce a flexible theropod foot for footprint creation. The Dinosaur Stampede National Monument, Lark Quarry, Queensland, Australia was used as our case study to compare fossilised dinosaur footprints with our reconstructed theropod prints. The footprints were created in a sediment that resembled the paleo-sediments of Lark Quarry prior to being traversed by dinosaurs. Measurements of our Australovenator prints with two distinctly different print types at Lark Quarry revealed similarities with one distinct trackway which has been the center of recent debate. These footprints consist of 11 consecutive footprints and show distinct similarities in both size and proportions to our Australovenator footprints.