Li-Da Xing, Jin Ba, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Sheng-Wu Yan, Anthony Romilio, Chun-Yong Chou & W.Scott Persons IV (2017)
Late Triassic sauropodomorph and Middle Jurassic theropod tracks from the Xichang Basin, Sichuan Province, southwestern China: First report of the ichnogenus Carmelopodus.
Journal of Palaeogeography (advance online publication)
Upper Triassic and Middle Jurassic strata of the Xichang Basin in Sichuan Province, southwestern China, yielded important dinosaur ichnofossils. From the Xujiahe Formation of the Yiguojiao tracksite, we report a Late Triassic footprint assemblage in China and the first discovery of diagnostic Triassic sauropodomorph tracks in this region. The tracks share a number of features in common with the ichnogenera Eosauropus (Late Triassic) and Liujianpus (Early Jurassic). The neighboring Bingtu tracksite is stratigraphically younger (Shaximiao Formation, Middle Jurassic) and preserves small tridactyl theropod tracks that represent the first occurrence of the ichnotaxon Carmelopodus in China and Asia. While these tracks are morphologically comparable to those from the Middle Jurassic type locality in North America, the specimens from China show the proximal margin of the digit IV impression in a more cranial position, which may indicate a trackmaker with a relatively short metatarsal IV. In addition to the skeletal record, the Carmelopodus footprints document the presence of small theropods in the dinosaur fauna of the Middle Jurassic Shaximiao Formation.