Prehistoric Man, who depended on hunting for food, certainly would have had a varied terminology for animai tracks, as indeed do the surviving primitive tribes. Contemporary hunters can defme a track based upon many parameters, while using technical terms. Good hunters, especially the primitive ones, are able to determine the species, sex, age, conditions of health, gait and other information about the animai, based on empirical observations of trackways and the trackmakers.
Technical terminology for tracks has been used in scientific publications since the first half of the nineteenth century. However, the systematization of these therms took place much later, in generai only whithin the last few decades. Probably the first published listing of terms is the very short one, published (in English) by Frank E. Peabody in 1948 and revised in 1959. The first glossary in French was published by Heyler and Lessertisseur (1963) and is more extensive than the preceding one. It includes some information on measurement techniques. Also in French is the glossary and rnanual found in the introduction to an important monograph by G. R. Demathieu (1970).
In German there are good listings of terms in the introduction of two works by Haubold (1971), as well as in his book "Saurierfährten" (1984). Casamiquela (1964) formalized an ichnological terminology in Spanish; in the same work he established methods of study and interpretation of tracks. Sarjeant's review of the tetrapod footprints (1975) is remarkable; it contains important considerations on the measurement, analysis, interpretation and terminology of footprints. M.T. Antunes (1976) presented a study on tracks of dinosaurs from Lagosteiros (Portugal); and first used technical terms in Portuguese.
The first attempt at a comparative glossary in seven languages was compiled by G. Leonardi (1979). The glossary put side by side the majority of terms used in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Latin; and a list of terms was presented for the first time in a systematic way in the three last languages.
Initial contacts for the present work were made in 1977 at the iniciative of this editor. Work started in 1979 and has taken eigth years. It encompasses more than 2500 terms (2588 altogheter; 1271 ichnological; 218 anatomical; 417 biomechanical; 149 on the substratum; 533 statistical. 361 in Spanish; 373 in German; 305 in English; 317 in French; 312 in Italian; 296 in Latin; 326 in Portuguese; 298 in Russian). It was by no means an easy task to unify methods of study and measurement. The patience of my good friends and colleagues in filling out forms, lists and ques-tionnaires was infinite. The contribution of each is specified under the title of each chapter and also, in an abridged form, in the columns of terms for each language. Bill Sarjeant carefully revised the text in English. English was the language chosen for the text because, unfortunately, there is no neutral language. English can be understood by all the ichnologists. Clearly, it would be impossible to publish the text in many languages.
The glossary deals with the ichnology of the tetrapods; with trackways and footprints, but not with other vertebrate traces such as eggs, coprolites and dens. The work is presented in following order. First a lengthy introduction to the history of the ichnology of vertebrates (with a selective bibliography) by Bill Sarjeant: Secondly the glossary of terms is presented in eight languages, i.e. the seven languages accepted by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and also Portuguese, because it is the language of this editor and of the country (Brazil) where the Work will be published. In Brazil, ichnology has lately received considerable support from the cultural and political milieux (The Ministry of Mines and Energy, inter alia), and from the institutions providing financial help for research, especially the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and the Departamento Nacional da Produção Mineral (DNPM). The subject has aroused great interest also among the Brazilian press and the general public, due to its great fascination.
The columns of terms, from left to right, are in alphabetical order of the names of the different languages: from "Castellano" to "Russian". (For "Spanish" we preferred the more correct name of "Castellano", in English, "Castilian" — as distinct from "Catalan").
In each column, the terms are not entered in alphabetical order; instead they are divided into areas (Ichnology, Anatomy, Biornechanics, Substratum, Statistics) since this was felt to be more potentially helpful.
In the first section there is a logical order, with general terms first, then with the terms concerned with the trackway, the footprint, and the morphological details of the footprint. The order in each section is not arbitrary, as it may seem at first. It aims to introduce first the basic terms, which are necessary to the understanding and usage of the terms that follow. The position of one or another term is sometimes debatable and might have been done differently. The alphabetical index simplifies location of terms in the glossary and in the discussion.
The choice of terms for the substrate (in English) was the work of Bill Sarjeant. The terms for Statistics were chosen by Georges R. Demathieu; consequently they appear in the French alphabetical order. The Statistics section is probably too large: some of the authors found it disproportionate compared to the other sections. Nevertheless I decided to publish it anyway. The difficulty we had in finding equivalent terms in the different linguistic columns convinced us that a statistica glossary in eight languages probably does not exist. Consequently, this section may make easier the reading and linguistic correlation of terms not only for ichnologists but also for paleontologists at large, and maybe even for other researchers. It is an "extra" that we offer to the scientific community! Furthermore, statistics is a science that has only recently been applied to ichnology: some terms, methods and concepts that are not employed in our field yet may be utilized in the near future.
Besides the terms already widely used, we introduced some new terms formed by analogy with other languages or by simply transforming adjectives into nouns (as in the example: mesaxonic — mesaxony — axony). Ichnology is a living science, growing rapidly today, so it is understandable that neologisms develop.
It was not possible to include all the terms in every column, in part because sometimes we could not find equivalents, but more often because the author responsible for the column did not think it opportune to include in his own language a term that migth be perfect in the other languages, but did not sound right to him. In Latin (that of the scientific milieu and of the western catholic Church) we could not find neologisms that could express some concepts. We have also created some new terms — not in excess, however!
The terms cannot always be simply translated, since there are significant conceptual and logical differences between the different languages. Note, for instance, the term "pace" in English. The author responsible for the English language in our glossary thinks that it already includes the concept of "oblique" which in other languages, has to be made explicit.
Those terms which are commonly used in the existing literature but which should be avoided because they are either improper or confusing, are placed in parentheses. Optional complements are placed within brackets.
In the third section, there is a lengthy discussion of the mean-ing of the terms, by Giuseppe Leonardi. Besides explaining the terms and discussing the relationship between the languages whenever necessary, there is also a discussion concerning the correct way of making the measurements. Included also are some considerations and suggestions on the study of footprints in generai. We had to face up to many semantic difficulties in our attempt to unify the methods of the different countries and schools during the preparation of this text.
The numbering of items in the chapter "Discussion etc." is obviously the same as the lists of terms. Each number or item refers to a term or a group of terms.
Some special topics follow in an appendix — apparent limbs; thickness of footprint-relief and its significance; research on the distribution of the weight upon the autopodia; and a table of the phalangeal formulae of the reptiles.
To conclude, I would like to sumarize briefly our objectives we pursuecl in publishing this work. As already mentioned, ichnology is expanding and an increasing number of papers on this subject are being written in different languages. Correlating terms is not always an easy task; and descriptive methods are often different from school to school, and from country to country. This work is an attempt to unify methods and to correlate terrninologies in eight languages. The utilization of our glossary in future study on vertebrate ichnology shall make possible, to ichnologists in different parts of the world, the understanding of the methods of measurement and study used in any particular paper and of the exact meaning of the terms employed. The future translation and publishing of our lists of terms in other languages by other authors may further widen the common international platform for our field. We hope we have rendered useful service to the ichnological community. Maybe because we are only a few around the world, we constitute a friendly community where everyone knows each other. Our hope is that some day we may all come to use the same methods and in this way, come to understand each other better.
Brasilia, October 12, 1986.