Jeremy E. Martin, Elie Fosso Menkem, Adrien Djomeni, Paul Gustave Fowe & Marie-Joseph Ntamak-Nida (2017)
Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon.
Journal of African Earth Sciences (advance online publication)
We report dinosaur footprints from a new Cretaceous locality in Cameroon
Identified trackmakers are represented by sauropods and small theropods
Those trackways could be younger than previous finds from northern Cameroon
The trackways are co-eval or younger than skeletal evidence in the peri-Saharan region
The new tracksites are located on the southern shore of the Trans-Saharan Seaway
Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benoue trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benoue trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.