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A New Deinonychosaurian Track from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group, Gansu Province, China

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Herein we describe deinonychosaurian (Dinosauria: Theropoda) tracks in the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group at sites I and II of Liujiaxia Dinosaur National Geopark, Gansu Province, China. The site preserves 71 didactyl tracks, the largest concentration of deinonychosaurian tracks in Asia. The tracks pertain to a new dromaeopodid ichnospecies: Dromaeosauripus yongjingensis ichnosp. nov., which is diagnosed by: a digital pad formula of x−1−3−4−x and a mean divarication angle between digits III and IV of 19°, and having the proximal portion of digit II contacting the anterior margin of a large, rounded metatarsophalangeal pad. Six Dromaeosauripustrackways from site II comprise at least two, and possibly three, turning trackways in which the track maker(s) turned without slowing down. None of the Dromaeosauripus trackways are parallel or closely spaced, suggesting that they were made by solitary track makers. Estimates of dromaeopodid track−maker sizes are between 61–300 cm, well within the size range established by body fossils of both dromaeosaurids and troodontids.

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  • School of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 11455 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
  • Geological Museum of Gansu, Lanzhou 730040, China
  • Physical Sciences Department, Dixie State College, 225 South 700 East, St. George, Utah 84770, USA
  • Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative, Clairmont, Alberta T0H 0W0, Canada
  • Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, 51-11, Terao, Muroko, Katsuyama, Fukui 911-8601, Japan
  • Toyama Science Museum, 1-8-31 Nishinakano-machi, Toyama, Toyama, 939-8084, Japan
  • Geological Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, South Korea
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 11455 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada


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