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Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats

August 31 , 2016

A new dinosaur tracksite in the Vale de Meios quarry (Serra de Aire Formation,
Bathonian, Portugal)preserves more than 700 theropod tracks. They are organized
in at least 80 unidirectional trackways arranged in a bimodal orientation
pattern (W/NW and E/SE). Quantitative and qualitative comparisons reveal that
the large tridactyl, elongated and asymmetric tracks resemble the typical Late
Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Megalosauripus ichnogenus in all morphometric
parameters. Few of the numerous tracks are preserved as elite tracks while the
rest are preserved as different gradients of modified true tracks according to
water content, erosive factors, radial fractures and internal overtrack
formations. Taphonomical determinations are consistent with paleoenvironmental
observations that indicate an inter-tidal flat located at the margin of a
coastal barrier. The Megalosauripus tracks represent the oldest occurrence of
this ichnotaxon and are attributed to large megalosaurid dinosaurs. Their
occurrence in Vale de Meios tidal flat represents the unique paleoethological
evidence of megalosaurids moving towards the lagoon, most likley during the low
tide periods with feeding purposes.

Novella L. Razzolini, Oriol Oms, Diego Castanera, Bernat Vila, Vanda Faria dos
Santos & Àngel Galobart. (2016). Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid
Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 31494 (2016)


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