Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways Exposed by Water Erosion in Sichuan Province, China

Authors

  • Lida Xing China University of Geosciences, Beijing
  • Martin Lockley Dinosaur Trackers Research Group, University of Colorado, USA
  • Hendrik Klein Saurierwelt Paläontologisches Museum Alte Richt 7, Germany
  • Zheng Ren School of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, China
  • Bolin Tong School of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, China
  • W. Scott Persons IV Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, USA
  • Guangzhao Peng Zigong Dinosaur Museum, China
  • Yong Ye Zigong Dinosaur Museum, China
  • Miaoyan Wang School of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, China

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37819/biosis.002.01.0093

Keywords:

Jiaguan formation, Saurischians, Sauropod tracks, Theropod tracks, Brontopodus

Abstract

A newly discovered saurischian dominated tracksite in the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation in southeastern Sichuan province reveals 13 sauropod trackway segments representing ichnogenus Brontopodus and three theropod trackways. This is a typical Type 1 Jiaguan Formation deposit dominated by tetrapod tracks with no significant tetrapod body fossils. The tracks occur in a river channel exposure of feldspathic quartz sandstone about 20–25 m wide and ~ 60 m long. The trackways are exposed on both banks but eroded away in the central channel area. The sauropod tracks represent relatively small animals with pes print lengths ranging from 24.5 cm to 33.9 cm. The theropod trackways include a large example (footprint length 46.5 cm with metatarsal traces) and two smaller parallel trackways with footprint lengths less than 20 cm. The author also discussed the erosion of tracks and trackways by water erosion, especially their morphological changes.

References

Alexander, R. M. (1976). Estimates of speeds of dinosaurs. Nature, 26, 129–130. https://doi.org/10.1038/261129a0

Chen, H. X. (2009). Research of Paleoenvironment and Paleoclimate of Cretaceous in Ya'an Area of Western Sichuan Basin (Master Thesis). Chengdu University of Technology, China.

Farlow, J. O., Pittman, J. G., & Hawthorne, J. M. (1989). Brontopodus birdi, Lower Cretaceous sauropod footprints from the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain. In: D. D. Gillette, & M. G. Lockley (Eds), Dinosaur Tracks and Traces. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 371–394.

Gangloff, R. A., & May, K. C. (2004). An early Late Cretaceous dinosaur tracksite in central Yukon Territory, Canada. Ichnos, 11, 299–309. https://doi.org/10.1080/10420940490442269

Gatesy, S. M., Middleton, M. K., Jenkins Jr., F. A., & Shubin, N. H. (1999). Three-dimensional preservation of foot movements in Triassic theropod dinosaurs. Nature, 399, 141–144. https://doi.org/10.1038/20167

Geng, Q. (2011). Tectonic sequence stratigraphy and lithofacies paleogeography of Cretaceous-Paleogene in Sichuan Basin of China. Journal of Chengdu University of Technology Science & Technology Edition, 38(4), 394–401.

González Riga, B. J. (2011). Speeds and stance of titanosaur sauropods: analysis of Titanopodus tracks from the Late Cretaceous of Mendoza, Argentina. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 83(1), 279–290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652011005000002

Gu, X. D., & Liu, X. H. (1997). Stratigraphy (Lithostratic) of Sichuan Province. Wuhan: China University of Geosciences Press.

Kuban, G. J. (1989a). Elongate dinosaur tracks. In D. D. Gillette, & M. G. Lockley (Eds), Dinosaur Tracks and Traces. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 57–72.

Leonardi, G. (1987). Glossary and manual of tetrapod footprint palaeoichnology. Brazil: Departamento Nacional de Producão Mineral.

Lockley, M. G. (1991). Tracking dinosaurs-a new look at an ancient world. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lockley, M. G. (1999). The eternal trail: a tracker looks at evolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.

Lockley, M. G. (2001). Trackways and dinosaur locomotion. In D. E. G. Briggs, & P. Crowther (Eds), Palaeobiology II: a synthesis (412–416). Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Lockley, M. G. (2009). New perspectives on morphological variation in tridactyl footprints: clues to widespread convergence in developmental dynamics. Geological Quarterly, 53, 415–432.

Lockley, M. G., & Hunt, A. P. (1994). Fossil Footprints of the Dinosaur Ridge Area. Denver: A joint publication of the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge and the University of Colorado at Denver.

Lockley, M. G., & Hunt, A. P. (1995). Dinosaur tracks and other fossil footprints of the western United States. New York: Columbia University Press.

Lockley, M. G., Farlow, J. O., & Meyer, C. A. (1994). Brontopodus and Parabrontopodus ichnogen nov. and the significance of wide-and narrow-gauge sauropod trackways. Gaia, 10, 135–145.

Lockley, M. G., Wright, J., White, D., Li, J. J., Feng, L., & Li, H. (2002a). The first sauropod trackways from China. Cretaceous Research, 23, 363–381. https://doi.org/10.1006/cres.2002.1005

Lockley M. G., Gierlinski G. D., & Lucas, S. G. (2011). Kayentapus revisited: notes on the type material and the importance of this theropod footprint ichnogenus. In R. M. Sullivan, S. G. Lucas, & J. A. Spielmann (Eds), Fossil Record 3. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 53, 330–336.

Lockley, M. G., & Milner, A. R. C. (In review). Eubrontes out West. In J. O. Farlow (Ed), Dinosaur Velley State Park. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Lockley, M. G., Schulp, A., Meyer, C. A., Leonardi, G., & Kerumba-Mamani, D. (2002b). Titanosaurid trackways from the Late Cretaceous of Bolivia: evidence for large manus, wide-gauge locomotion and gregarious behavior. Cretaceous Research, 23, 383–400. https://doi.org/10.1006/cres.2002.1006

Marty, D., Belvedere, M., Meyer, C. A., Mietto, P., Paratte, G., Lovis, C., & Thüring, B. (2010). Comparative analysis of Late Jurassic sauropod trackways from the Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland) and the central High Atlas Mountains (Morocco): implications for sauropod ichnotaxonomy. Historical Biology, 22(1–3), 109–133. https://doi.org/10.1080/08912960903503345

Olsen, P. E., Smith, J. B., & McDonald, N. C. (1998). Type material of the type species of the classic theropod footprint genera Eubrontes, Anchisauripus and Grallator (Early Jurassic, Hartford and Deerfield Basins, Connecticut and Massachusetts, U.S.A.). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 18(3), 586–601. https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.1998.10011086

Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., Gao, Y. H., Shu, C. K., & Jiang, S. (2005). Jurassic Dinosaur Faunas in Zigong. Chengdu: People’s Publishing House of Sichuan. (in Chinese, with English abstract)

Santos, V. F., Moratalla, J. J., & Royo-Torres, R. (2009). New sauropod trackways from the Middle Jurassic of Portugal. Act Palaeontol Pol, 54(3), 409–422. https://doi.org/10.4202/app.2008.0049

Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Geology aviation regional Geological Survey team (1976). Geological Map of the People's Republic of China, Xuyong Map Sheet 1:200000 (H-48-XXXIV).

Thulborn, T. (1990). Dinosaur Tracks. London: Chapman & Hall, 1– 410.

Wilson, J. A., & Carrano, M. T. (1999). Titanosaurs and the origin of “wide–gauge” trackways: A biomechanical and systematic perspective on auropod locomotion. Paleobiology, 25, 252–267.

Xing, L. D., Harris, J. D., Gierliński, G. D., Wang, W. M., Wang, Z. Y., & Li, D. Q. (2011). Middle Cretaceous Non–avian Theropod trackways from the Southern Margin of the Sichuan Basin, China. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 50(4), 470–480.

Xing, L. D., Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., Lockley, M. G., McCrea, R. T., Currie, P. J., Zhang, J. P., & Burns, M. B. (2014). Large theropod trackway from the Lower Jurassic Zhenzhuchong Formation of Weiyuan County, Sichuan Province, China: Review, new observations and special preservation. Palaeoworld, 23, 285–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2014.10.010

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., Zhang, J. P., Klein, H., Marty, D., Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., McCrea, R. T., Persons, W. S. IV., & Xu, T. (2015). The longest theropod trackway from East Asia, and a diverse sauropod–, theropod–, and ornithopod–track assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation, southwest China. Cretaceous Research, 56, 345–362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2015.05.008

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., & Zhang, J. P. (2016a). Early Cretaceous dinosaur and other tetrapod tracks of southwestern China. Ningbo: Ningbo Publishing House.

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., Marty, D., Klein, H., Yang, G., Zhang, J. P., Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., Persons, W. S. IV., Yin, X. Y., & Xu, T. (2016b). A diverse saurischian (theropod-sauropod) dominated footprint assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation in the Sichuan Basin, southwestern China: A new ornithischian ichnotaxon, pterosaur tracks and an unusual sauropod walking pattern. Cretaceous Research, 60, 176–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2015.12.005

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., Klein, H., Zeng, R., Cai, S. F., Luo, X. C., & Li, C. (2018). Theropod assemblages and a new ichnotaxon Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov. from the Jiaguan Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Guizhou Province, China. Geoscience Frontiers, 9, 1745–1754. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2017.12.012

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., Klein, H., Zhang, L. J., Romilio, A., Persons, W. S. IV., Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., & Wang, M. Y. (In review). The new ichnotaxon Eubrontes nobitai ichnosp. nov. and other Saurischian tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Sichuan Province and a review of Chinese Eubrontes type tracks. Journal of Palaeogeography.

Xing, L. D., Dai, H., Lockley, M. G., Romilio, A., Klein, H., Li, Z. D., Hu, X. F., Peng, G. Z., Ye, Y., & Persons, W. S. IV. (2018). Two new dinosaur tracksites from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation of Sichuan Basin, China: specific preservation and ichnotaxonomy. Historical Biology, 30(7), 976–984. https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2017.1326113

Xing, L. D., Lockley, M. G., Klein, H., Zeng, R., Cai, S. F., Luo, X. C., & Li, C. (2018). Theropod assemblages and a new ichnotaxon Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov. from the Jiaguan Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Guizhou Province, China. Geoscience Frontiers, 9, 1745–1754. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2017.12.012

Downloads

Published

2021-03-22

How to Cite

Xing, L., Lockley, M., Klein, H., Ren , Z. ., Tong, B., Persons IV, W. S. ., Peng, G., Ye, Y., & Wang, M. (2021). Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways Exposed by Water Erosion in Sichuan Province, China. Biosis: Biological Systems, 2(1), 217-228. https://doi.org/10.37819/biosis.002.01.0093