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Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus tracks: an ichnological record of dinosauromorphs from the Early–Middle Triassic of Poland

By
Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki
Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki
Subdepartment of Evolution and Development, Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, 752 36 Uppsala, SwedenDepartment of Paleobiology and Evolution, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland
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Stephen L. Brusatte
Stephen L. Brusatte
Department of Palaeontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USADepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA
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Richard J. Butler
Richard J. Butler
GeoBio-Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 Munich, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

We present the first comprehensive description of Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus dinosauromorph tracks from the Early and Middle Triassic of the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland. We describe and comprehensively figure tracks that have been mentioned briefly in previous accounts as well as new, recently discovered material, and analyse the variation and stratigraphic distribution of these specimens. Tracks have been recorded from four sites – Koszary, Stryczowice, Wióry and Baranów – which span the early Olenekian–early Anisian (c. 250–246 Ma). These tracks therefore represent an ichnological record of the evolutionary succession of early dinosauromorphs during the earliest part of their evolutionary history. Recognized track types include cf. Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus mirus, Rotodactylus cursorius, Rotodactylus isp. and cf. Rotodactylus isp. At least three distinct Early and early Middle Triassic early dinosauromorph ichnofaunas can be recognized. The oldest, which is early Olenekian in age, is characterized by the presence of Prorotodactylus isp., cf. Prorotodactylus isp. and non-archosaurian archosauromorph or archosaur tracks (e.g. Synaptichnium isp., Protochirotherium isp.), recorded at the Stryczowice and Koszary sites. The following assemblage, recorded at the late Olenekian Wióry site, displays the highest ichnodiversity of dinosauromorphs, with four track types present (Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus mirus, Rotodactylus cursorius and cf. Rotodactylus isp.). The youngest site, Baranów, includes Rotodactylus isp., as well as other larger dinosauromorph tracks. The first body fossil evidence of dinosauromorphs is a few million years younger than the youngest Polish tracks, so Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus tracks currently provide the oldest record of dinosauromorph morphology, biology and evolution.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin

S. J. Nesbitt
S. J. Nesbitt
University of Washington, USA
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J. B. Desojo
J. B. Desojo
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’, Argentina
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R. B. Irmis
R. B. Irmis
Natural History Museum of Utah, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
379
ISBN electronic:
9781862396395
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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