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Archosaur footprints (cf. Brachychirotherium) with unusual morphology from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian–Rhaetian) of East Greenland

By
Hendrik Klein
Hendrik Klein
1
Saurierwelt Paläontologisches Museum, Alte Richt 7, D-92318 Neumarkt, Germany
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Jesper Milàn
Jesper Milàn
2
Geomuseum Faxe/Østsjællands Museum, Østervej 2, DK-4640 Faxe, Denmark
3
Department for Geosciences and Natural Resource Managements, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Lars B. Clemmensen
Lars B. Clemmensen
3
Department for Geosciences and Natural Resource Managements, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Nicolaj Frobøse
Nicolaj Frobøse
3
Department for Geosciences and Natural Resource Managements, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Octávio Mateus
Octávio Mateus
4
Department of Earth Sciences, GeoBioTec, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
5
Museu da Louriñha, Rua João Luis de Moura 95, 2530-158 Lourinhã, Portugal
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Nicole Klein
Nicole Klein
6
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Rosenstein 1, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany
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Jan S. Adolfssen
Jan S. Adolfssen
2
Geomuseum Faxe/Østsjællands Museum, Østervej 2, DK-4640 Faxe, Denmark
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Eliza J. Estrup
Eliza J. Estrup
7
Geocenter Møns Klint, Stengårdsvej 8, DK-4791 Borre, Denmark
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Oliver Wings
Oliver Wings
8
Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover, Willy-Brandt-Allee 5, 30169 Hannover, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2016

Abstract

The Ørsted Dal Member of the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation in East Greenland is well known for its rich vertebrate fauna, represented by numerous specimens of both body and ichnofossils. In particular, the footprints of theropod dinosaurs have been described. Recently, an international expedition discovered several slabs with 100 small chirotheriid pes and manus imprints (pes length 4–4.5 cm) in siliciclastic deposits of this unit. They show strong similarities with Brachychirotherium, a characteristic Upper Triassic ichnogenus with a global distribution. A peculiar feature in the Fleming Fjord specimens is the lack of a fifth digit, even in more deeply impressed imprints. Therefore, the specimens are assigned here tentatively to cf. Brachychirotherium. Possibly, this characteristic is related to the extremely small size and early ontogenetic stage of the trackmaker. The record from Greenland is the first evidence of this morphotype from the Fleming Fjord Formation. Candidate trackmakers are crocodylian stem group archosaurs; however, a distinct correlation with known osteological taxa from this unit is not currently possible. While the occurrence of sauropodomorph plateosaurs in the bone record links the Greenland assemblage more closer to that from the Germanic Basin of central Europe, here the described footprints suggest a Pangaea-wide exchange.

Supplementary material:

Three-dimensional model of cf. Brachychirotherium pes–manus set (from MGUH 31233b) from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian–Rhaetian) of East Greenland as pdf, ply and jpg files (3D model created by Oliver Wings; photographs taken by Jesper Milàn) is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.2133546

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Mesozoic Biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic Territories

B. P. Kear
B. P. Kear
Uppsala University, Sweden
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J. Lindgren
J. Lindgren
Lund University, Sweden
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J. H. Hurum
J. H. Hurum
University of Oslo, Norway
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J. Milàn
J. Milàn
Geomuseum Faxe, Denmark
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V. Vajda
V. Vajda
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden
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Geological Society of London
Volume
434
ISBN electronic:
9781862391581
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

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