Tetradactyl Footprints of an Unknown Affinity Theropod Dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Morocco

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2011; 6(12):e26882. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026882
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT New tetradactyl theropod footprints from Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian) have been found in the Iouaridène syncline (Morocco). The tracksites are at several layers in the intermediate lacustrine unit of Iouaridène Formation. The footprints were named informally in previous works "Eutynichnium atlasipodus". We consider as nomen nudum.
Boutakioutichnium atlasicus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. is mainly characterized by the hallux impression. It is long, strong, directed medially or forward, with two digital pads and with the proximal part of the first pad in lateral position. More than 100 footprints in 15 trackways have been studied with these features. The footprints are large, 38-48 cm in length, and 26-31 cm in width.
Boutakioutichnium mainly differs from other ichnotaxa with hallux impression in lacking metatarsal marks and in not being a very deep footprint. The distinct morphology of the hallux of the Boutakioutichnium trackmaker -i.e. size and hallux position- are unique in the dinosaur autopodial record to date.

Download full-text


Available from: Félix Pérez-Lorente, Jul 21, 2014
  • Source
    • "E-mail: Ait-Kaci Ahmed et al., 2004; Boutakiout et al., 2008; Belvedere et al., 2011; Mudroch et al., 2011; Nouri et al., 2011 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Four vertebrate tracksites from the Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous in the Tataouine basin of southern Tunisia are described. Approximately 130 tridactyl footprints distributed over an area of 200 square meters, preserved on Callovian beds exposed at the Beni Ghedir site, represent the oldest evidence of a dinosaur fauna in Tunisia. In addition, three tracksites—Chenini, Ksar Ayaat, and Jebel Boulouha—have been discovered in the Cretaceous beds of the upper Continental Intercalaire, previously considered as a strictly marine depositional sequence. In addition to dinosaur tracks, the Chenini tracksite (late Albian) includes poorly preserved crocodilian tracks, and footprints assigned to a pleurodiran turtle have been recovered at the Ksar Ayaat locality (early Cenomanian). The Jebel Boulouha tracksite is dominated by well-preserved tridactyl tracks referred to small-sized theropods. Depositional settings of each tracksite have been defined on stratigraphic and sedimentologic data, and tracks were ascribed to different ichnocoenoses in relation to their paleoenvironments. This new and differentiated track record gives important information on how the fossil vertebrate fauna changed in southern Tunisia during mid-Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous times. These data provide a unique and useful census of tetrapod associations along the southern margin of the peri-Mediterranean area.
    Ichnos 12/2012; 19(19):211-227. DOI:10.1080/10420940.2012.711396 · 0.77 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A Middle Jurassic site at Tafaytour area (Argana Basin, Morocco) with trackways of six large sauropod dinosaurs is regarded as having high scientific and touristic value. The new dinosaur track site is extremely vulnerable, and suffers from continuous degradation caused by weathering and human activity. Documentation and protection of this tracksite is still a necessity for its integration into local geotourism activities, where it may have a socio-economic impact on the local population. Taking into consideration many similar tracksites, and strata of great paleontological interest in Morocco, including the Tafaytour tracksite, the implementation of legislation for the protection of Morocco's geological heritage, especially the paleoichnological heritage, to protect against destruction, is strongly recommended. This is necessary to cement geoheritage impact, both for scientific reasons and to value add to the socio-economic activities of the local people.
    Proceedings of the Geologists Association 01/2013; 125(1). DOI:10.1016/j.pgeola.2013.09.003 · 1.33 Impact Factor