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Title: A theropod trackway providing evidence of a pathological foot from the exceptional locality of Las Hoyas (upper Barremian, Serranía de Cuenca, Spain)
Author: Herrera-Castillo, Carlos M.
Moratalla, José J.
Belaústegui Barahona, Zain
Marugán-Lobón, Jesús
Martín-Abad, Hugo
Nebreda, Sergio M.
López-Archilla, Ana I.
Buscalioni, Angela D.
Keywords: Dinosaures
Cretaceous Period
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2022
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: We describe a trackway (LH-Mg-10-16) occurring in laminated carbonated limestones of the Las Hoyas locality, Serranía de Cuenca, Spain. It is unmistakably a large theropod dinosaur trackway encompassing two unusual aspects, namely, wide-steps, and a set of equally deformed left footprints (with a dislocated digit). The layer also preserves other vertebrate trails (fish Undichna) and different impressions in the sediment. To address these complex settings, we devised a multidisciplinary approach, including the ichnological and taphonomical descriptions, characterisation of the rock lithofacies using thin-sections, 3D structured-light digitalisation with a high precision of 200-400 μm, and a geometric morphometric comparison with a large sample of bipedal dinosaur trackways. Sedimentary analyses showed that the trackway was produced in a humid, benthonic microbial mat, the consistency and plasticity of which enabled the preservation of the details of the movement of the animal. The results of the geometric analysis indicate that the 'wide-steps' of the trackway is not unusual compared to other trackways, providing evidence that it was made by a single individual with an estimated hip height approximately 2 m. Analogous pathologies in extant archosaurs that yield the combination of wide steps and deformed digits in the same trackway were considered. All results mutually support the hypothesis that a large theropod dinosaur, with a pathological foot, generated the trackway as it crossed an area of shallow water while slowly walking towards the main water source, thus stepping steadily over the benthonic mat over which multiple fish were swimming.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: PLoS One, 2022, vol. 17, num. 4, p. 1-24
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Dinàmica de la Terra i l'Oceà)

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