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3 The Early Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways in Münchehagen (Lower Saxony, Germany): 3-D Photogrammetry as Basis for Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Shape Variation and Evaluation of Material Loss during Excavation

Daniel Ma Edited by Peter L Falkingham Indiana University Press ePub

3.1. The Münchehagen locality in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The Early Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways in Münchehagen (Lower Saxony, Germany): 3-D Photogrammetry as Basis for Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Shape Variation and Evaluation of Material Loss during Excavation

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Oliver Wings, Jens N. Lallensack, and Heinrich Mallison

LOWER CRETACEOUS SANDSTONES IN LOWER SAXONY, northern Germany, are well known for their abundant fossil dinosaur tracks. One of the most productive sites is Münchehagen, which is well known for the only German Cretaceous sauropod trackways and hundreds of tracks of ornithopods and theropods, often forming long individual trackways with dozens of consecutive footprints. The largest theropod trackway T3 from the layer that has produced the best preserved true tracks (Lower Level) shows variations in the footprint morphology that allow use of this data as an example for studying the variability of tridactyl dinosaur track measurements.

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10 Dinosaur Swim Track Assemblages: Characteristics, 10 Contexts, and Ichnofacies Implications

Daniel Ma Edited by Peter L Falkingham Indiana University Press ePub

10.1. Pedal kinematics model of dinosaur swim track formation from left to right. Distal track to the right displays a posterior overhang. Modified from Romilio, Tucker, and Salisbury. (2013).

Dinosaur Swim Track Assemblages: Characteristics, Contexts, and Ichnofacies Implications

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Andrew R. C. Milner and Martin G. Lockley

TRACES MADE BY SWIMMING TETRAPODS ARE SIMPLY known as “swim tracks.” These trace fossils are of interest to paleontologists because they provide insight into the behavior of past vertebrates in aquatic environments. However, swim tracks have always been a controversial subject for several reasons. Often swim tracks show irregular morphologies and are incomplete, so interpretation of them can be problematic. Unlike tracks made by animals walking on firm ground, which supports most or all of their weight, swimming tetrapods are fully or partially buoyant, and if their feet or hands come into contact with the subaqueous substrate, they will register swim tracks, sometimes preserving elite swim tracks. It has been suggested that swim tracks rarely display regular step and stride patterns as observed in a walking trackway (Milner, Lockley, and Kirkland, 2006), although clear swim trackway patterns are sometimes distinguishable (McAllister, 1989a; Ezquerra et al., 2007; Romilio, Tucker, and Salisbury, 2013; Xing et al., 2013). Because swim tracks are sometimes incomplete and are often found to have irregular and confusing configurations, it is sometimes difficult to identify the trackmaker or to distinguish between manus and pes tracks if the producer was quadrupedal. Surprisingly, under closer examination of a variety of swim track types from different localities and of different ages, it is most often the case that a clear swim trackway pattern can be observed where there are large enough surfaces exposed and not too high a density of tracks, although these trackways can display considerable variation in overall morphology.

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5 Beyond Surfaces: A Particle-Based Perspective on Track Formation

Daniel Ma Edited by Peter L Falkingham Indiana University Press ePub

5.1. Tracks as surfaces. Computer renderings of a shallow true track (based on a photogrammetric reconstruction of a natural track cast SS.00 in Gatesy, 2001) (A) from above and (B) in perspective views. Grayscale is mapped from white (highest) to black (lowest) depth. Scale bar for A = 5 cm.

Beyond Surfaces: A Particle-Based Perspective on Track Formation

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Stephen M. Gatesy and Richard G. Ellis

FOSSIL FOOTPRINTS RECORD UNRIVALED EVIDENCE OF behavior in long extinct species. For students of dinosaur locomotion, tracks offer clues about gait, speed, limb posture, foot motion (kinematics), foot loading (kinetics), and social behavior (e.g., Ostrom, 1972; Alexander, 1976; Thulborn and Wade, 1984, 1989; Padian and Olsen, 1989; Gatesy et al., 1999; Milàn, 2006; Graversen, Milàn, and Loope, 2007; Pérez-Lorente and Herrero Gascón, 2007; Ishigaki and Lockley, 2010; Avanzini, Piñuela, and Garcia-Ramos, 2011; Falkingham, 2014). Yet tracks must be studied differently from body fossils. Although complementary to skeletal remains, footprints are purely sedimentary structures that preserve traces of anatomy only indirectly. Tracks are thus neither organism nor environment but emergent features documenting their dynamic, coupled interaction (e.g., Baird, 1980; Padian and Olsen, 1984a; Allen, 1997; Falkingham and Gatesy, 2014).

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16 Elusive Ornithischian Tracks in the Famous Berriasian (Lower Cretaceous) “Chicken Yard” Tracksite of Northern Germany: Quantitative Differentiation between Small Tridactyl Trackmakers

Daniel Ma Edited by Peter L Falkingham Indiana University Press ePub

16.1. Sketch of track 1/3 showing locations of the measured distances taken for quantitative analyses. Abbreviations: LII, length along second digit; LIII, length along third digit, the same as total track length; LIV, length along fourth digit; B, total track width; LIIoM, length of second digit without metatarsal; LIIIoM, length of third digit without metatarsal; LIVoM, length of fourth digit without metatarsal; BbII, width at proximal third or base of second digit; BbIII, width at proximal third or base of third digit; BbIV, width at proximal third or base of fourth digit; BmII, width at mid length of second digit; BmIII, width at mid length of third digit; BmIV, width at mid length of fourth digit; II–III°, divarication angle between digits II and III; III–IV°, divarication angle between digits III and IV; II–IV°, divarication angle between digits II and IV.

Elusive Ornithischian Tracks in the Famous Berriasian (Lower Cretaceous) “Chicken Yard” Tracksite of Northern Germany: Quantitative Differentiation between Small Tridactyl Trackmakers

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7 Evaluating the Dinosaur Track Record: An Integrative Approach to Understanding the Regional and Global Distribution, Scientific Importance, Preservation, and Management of Tracksites

Daniel Ma Edited by Peter L Falkingham Indiana University Press ePub

7.1. The Dinosaur Track Road in Teruel (Spain) footprint sites.

Evaluating the Dinosaur Track Record: An Integrative Approach to Understanding the Regional and Global Distribution, Scientific Importance, Preservation, and Management of Tracksites

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Luis Alcalá, Martin G. Lockley, Alberto Cobos, Luis Mampel, and Rafael Royo-Torres

MANY PAPERS ON FOSSIL TRACKS, FROM MANY REGIONS of the world have been published in the last two decades, and this rapid increase in documentation has itself generated the idea of a dinosaur “footprint renaissance” marked by a landslide of new discoveries and documentation. Many of these papers mention the significance of these sites in terms of selected variables such as size of site, number of tracks, new or unknown ichnotaxa, new stratigraphic or geographic occurrence, trackmaker behavioral implications, and so forth. However, the significance of fossil tracksites is often not comprehensively discussed or evaluated in such a way as to address all relevant criteria and facilitate comparison with other sites. In this chapter we describe an approach for evaluating tracksites.

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