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Herd structure in Late Cretaceous polar dinosaurs; a remarkable new dinosaur tracksite, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA

Anthony R. Fiorillo, Stephen T. Hasiotis and Yoshitsugu Kobayashi
Herd structure in Late Cretaceous polar dinosaurs; a remarkable new dinosaur tracksite, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA
Geology (Boulder) (June 2014) 42 (8): 719-722

Abstract

The discovery of a new tracksite of mostly hadrosaurid dinosaur footprints, made by a herd living in an ancient high-latitude continental ecosystem, provides insight into the herd structure and behavior of northern polar dinosaurs and perspective on populations of large-bodied herbivores in an Arctic greenhouse world. This tracksite occurs in the Upper Cretaceous Cantwell Formation in the Alaska Range (Denali National Park, Alaska, United States), and it is the largest tracksite known from this far north. Preservation of the tracksite is exceptional: most tracks, regardless of size, contain skin impressions and they co-occur with well-preserved plant fossils and invertebrate trace fossils of terrestrial and aquatic insects. Statistical analyses of the tracks show that individuals of four different age classes of hadrosaurids lived together in a large social group. Our research results independently corroborate the growth curve for hadrosaurids proposed by paleohistologists that suggests that these dinosaurs experienced a period of rapid growth early in their life history.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Herd structure in Late Cretaceous polar dinosaurs; a remarkable new dinosaur tracksite, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA
Affiliation: Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, TX, United States
Pages: 719-722
Published: 20140630
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 37
Accession Number: 2014-058224
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2014267
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N62°15'00" - N64°19'60", W153°00'00" - W148°40'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Kansas, USA, United StatesHokkaido University Museum, JPN, Japan
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201431
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