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The dinosaur tracksite of Loulle (early Kimmeridgian; Jura, France).

May 2, 2016

More than 1500 sauropod and theropod tracks have been discovered and excavated on the floor of a disused 3800 m2 quarry, near the village of Loulle (French Jura). These levels correspond to a tidal-flat environment, from intertidal to supratidal zone, dated from the earliest Kimmeridgian (~157 M.a.). Eighteen sauropod trackways have been recognized, ranging from 3.8 m to 51.5 m in length. These trackways do not correspond to a unique herd passage, because trackways are diversely oriented, most of them are crossing others and prints are more or less deeply marked, depending of different stages of substratum competence. According to the trackway gauges, the three types (narrow-, medium and wide-gauge) are represented. Some trackways could be referred to the ichnogenus Brontopodus Farlow et al., 1989, and others to Parabrontopodus Lockley et al., 1994a. Based on footprint size, the body-sizes of these 18 sauropod trackways range from tiny (Pes Length < 25 cm) to large individuals (PL > 75 cm), showing a regular continuum of sizes. Several biometrical ratios classically used in sauropod ichnology appear to be closely related to size (e.g., the smallest individuals apparently moved faster than the largest; large individuals are all narrow-gauge while small individuals are all wide-gauge; large specimens are characterized by a high heteropody ratio when the smallest show a low heteropody ratio). Associated with these sauropod trackways, four theropod trackways have also been recorded. Three small to medium-sized theropod are referred to the ichnogenus Carmelopodus Lockley et al., 1998a, while a large individual (PL = 77 cm) is tentatively referred to Megalosauripus Lessertisseur, 1955.

Jean-Michel Mazin, Pierre Hantzpergue & Joane Pouech (2016)
The dinosaur tracksite of Loulle (early Kimmeridgian; Jura, France).
Geobios (advance online publication)


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