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Integrating ichnofossil and body fossil records to estimate locomotor posture and spatiotemporal distribution of early sauropod dinosaurs; a stratocladistic approach

Jeffrey A. Wilson
Integrating ichnofossil and body fossil records to estimate locomotor posture and spatiotemporal distribution of early sauropod dinosaurs; a stratocladistic approach
Paleobiology (September 2005) 31 (3): 400-423

Abstract

Fossil vertebrate distributions are typically based on body fossils, which are often poorly sampled at the margins of their true temporal and spatial ranges. Because vertebrate ichnofossils can be preserved in great abundance and in different environments than vertebrate body fossils, inclusion of ichnofossil data may improve sampled ranges. However, if ichnofossils are to serve as an independent source of distributional data, then their attribution to a body fossil group (i.e., trackmaker identification) cannot rely on temporal and spatial coincidence. Ichnofossils identified by synapomorphies can act as an independent source of distributional data that can modify spatial, temporal, and character distributions, which in turn may influence hypotheses of locomotor evolution. In this paper I evaluate the spatial, temporal, and character distributions of early sauropod dinosaurs by using a combined ichnofossil and body fossil data set. Sauropod ichnofossils supplement the spatiotemporal distributions of early sauropods and provide important information on early sauropod foot posture that is rarely preserved or can only be inferred from body fossils. The presence of derived features in early-appearing ichnofossils challenges previous hypotheses of character transformation, implying either parallelism, reversal, or ghost lineages. Stratocladistics can be used to resolve conflicting character and temporal distributions from body fossils and ichnofossils. Stratocladistic analysis of a combined ichnofossil and body fossil data set suggests a richer, more widely distributed diversity of early sauropods than currently recognized in body fossils and suggests that several locomotor characters originated much earlier than implied by body fossils.


ISSN: 0094-8373
EISSN: 1938-5331
Coden: PALBBM
Serial Title: Paleobiology
Serial Volume: 31
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Integrating ichnofossil and body fossil records to estimate locomotor posture and spatiotemporal distribution of early sauropod dinosaurs; a stratocladistic approach
Author(s): Wilson, Jeffrey A.
Affiliation: Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Pages: 400-423
Published: 20050901
Text Language: English
Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States
References: 122
Accession Number: 2005-062986
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, The Paleontological Society. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 200521
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