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2014 | 59 | 4 |
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An unusual trackway of a possibly bipedal archosaur from the Late Triassic of the Sichuan Basin, China

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The Longguan dinosaur tracksite in the Sichuan Basin (China) is described. It is located in the uppermost part of the Upper Triassic Xujiahe Formation and displays a single, unusual trackway consisting of 19 deeply impressed pes imprints. All tracks have suffered from erosion over many years of exposure, but they still reveal interesting details such as conspicuous elongated grooves, interpreted here as toe and claw drag marks. The trackmaker, a medium-sized archosaur, was walking in a thick and relatively soft layer of sand. The elongated, oval shape of the footprints resembles the ichnogenus Eosauropus from North America and Europe, assigned to facultative bipedal sauropodomorphs. The Chinese track differs by inward rotation of the footprints toward the midline, whereas in Eosauropus, these are turned strictly outward. Other ichnotaxa and possible trackmakers are discussed, but presently, a distinct assignment cannot be given. The Longguan trackway enlarges the scarce footprint record from the Triassic of China.
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