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Re: [dinosaur] Largest dinosaur tracksite in China




Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A recent follow-up article to a paper posted on the DML back in 2015:




Huan Xu, Yongqing Liu, Hongwei Kuang, Nan Peng (2017)
Reinterpretation of dinosaur footprints from the Lower Cretaceous of Huanglonggou, Zhucheng, Shandong Province, China: Comment on “Tracking the yellow dragons: Implications of China’s largest dinosaur tracksite (Cretaceous of the Zhucheng area, Shandong Province, China)” by Lockley et al. (2015)
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 485: 992-998
doi:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.001
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018215003612


Zhucheng, located in eastern Shandong Province, China, is well-known for its abundant Early Cretaceous dinosaur footprints and Late Cretaceous dinosaur bone fossils. Recently, Lockley et al. (2015) presented a sketch study on the Huanglonggou tracksite in the Zhucheng area, and critically commented on our paper (H. Xu et al., 2013), which conducted a detailed and comprehensive study of the tracksite. Here, we demonstrate that some of their assumptions and comments on our work are subjective and incorrect. Tracks at the Huanglonggou tracksite, including a dominant theropod (large theropod, Grallator yangi/Paragrallator, Corpulentapus lilasia), and subordinate sauropod, suspected ornithopod, and turtle tracks were preserved in the Yangjiazhuang Formation with estimated ages of 129 to 122 Ma, rather than in the Longwangzhuang Formation as proposed by Lockley and his associates. Contrary to Lockley et al. (2015), our mapping of the Huanglonggou tracksite exhibits the previous work by Li et al. (2011) and focuses on the 50 well-preserved trackways and their orientations. Based on the stride length to footprint size index diagram and the Grallator–Anchisauripus–Eubrontes (GAE) plexus, our statistical constraints on the three species of theropods are better than those of Lockley et al. (2015). Lockley argued that tracks at the site were preserved on at least five levels, of which the majority on level 4 were of excellent preservation. In fact, the tracks identified throughout the site have been from only one level. The false appearance of multiple levels is interpreted as the result of sedimentation at the shoreline and differential excavation of the tracksite.

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updated original article link:

Martin G. Lockley, Rihui Li, Masaki Matsukawa, Lida Xing, Jianjun Li, Mingwei Liu & Xing Xu (2015)
Tracking the yellow dragons: implications of China’s largest dinosaur tracksite (Cretaceous of the Zhucheng area, Shandong Province, China).
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 423: 62-79
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.01.028
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018215000462

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On Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 8:46 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Martin G. Lockley, Rihui Li, Masaki Matsukawa, Lida Xing, Jianjun Li,
Mingwei Liu, Xing Xu (2015)
Tracking the yellow dragons: implications of China’s largest dinosaur
tracksite (Cretaceous of the Zhucheng area, Shandong Province, China).
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advane online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.01.028
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018215000462



Highlights

The largest mapped dinosaur tracksite in China
Five trackway morphotypes, most with exquisite preservation
Shore line micro paleogeography mapped in fine detail.
Unique track superimposition patterns identified and explained.

Abstract

Surfaces with more than 2200 dinosaur footprints from the Huanglonggou
(yellow dragon valley) site near Zhucheng, in Shandong Province, were
excavated for scientific study and with a view to future development
as an educational site suitable for further research and tourism.
Although geographically close to spectacular and historically famous
Upper Cretaceous sites yielding vast bone assemblages, representing
giant hadrosaurs and other dinosaurs from the Wangshi Group, the
tracksite is in the Lower Cretaceous Yangjiazhuang Formation
(equivalent in part to the Longwangzhuang Formation), represents an
entirely different dinosaurian fauna, dominated by small theropods. In
contrast to a recent pre-excavation study of a localized outcrop which
identified only three theropod track morphotypes, in a sample of 135
tracks, the present study has identified at least 2000 additional
tracks including those of sauropods and turtles. It is therefore
possible to present a more complete interpretation of the site based
on the larger and more diverse track assemblage presently exposed.
Three theropod track morphotypes are identified as grallatorid
morphotypes A and B, with the latter assigned to Grallator yangi comb
nov., and Corpulentapus lilasia. Tracks have been identified from at
least 5 levels, of which level 4 exhibits the vast majority in an
excellent state of preservation. Other recent studies, which we
re-evaluate, suggest the tracks help define a ENE-WSW shoreline with
the lake center to the SSE. In terms of number of tracks documented
the Huanglonggou site is one of the largest dinosaur in China, or
indeed in the world.
==