A Preliminary Review of Dinosaur Track Assemblages from the Tuchengzi Formation in North China
Keywords:Tuchengzi Formation, dinosaur tracks, ichnofauna, Jurassic, Cretaceous
In northern China, mainly within Western Liaoning, Northern Hebei and Beijing, vertebrate skeletons from the Tuchengzi Formation (Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous) are scarce. However, a large number of new dinosaur track discoveries have made in past 10 years. So far, a total of 19 dinosaur track sites have been found in the Tuchengzi Formation, collectively containing 2,637 individual tracks and representing at least 2,091 trackmakers. This track record has become an important sample for understanding the Tuchengzi dinosaur fauna. The abundant Tuchengzi track record includes six non-avian theropod ichnogenera (Asianopodus, Eubrontes, Grallator, Menglongipus, Therangospodus, and Velociraptorichnus), three bird ichnogenera (Aquatilavipes, Pullornipes, and Koreanaornis), two sauropod ichnogenera (Brontopodus and cf. Parabrontopodus isp.), and a possible ornithopod ichnogenus (cf. Dinehichnu). This assemblage is saurischian-dominated, which is consistent with most Jurassic and Cretaceous track sites in China. The presence of deinonychosaurian tracks is consistent with the rich skeletal record from the Yanliao Biota or Jehol Biota, and the bird tracks are consistent with the record of shorebirds in Jehol Biota. The existence of ornithopod tracks is doubtful and needs further discoveries to be confirmed.
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