Archosaur footprints (cf. Brachychirotherium) with unusual morphology from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian-Rhaetian) of East Greenland

Hendrik Klein, Jesper Milán, Lars B. Clemmensen, Nicolaj Frobøse, Octávio Mateus, Nicole Klein, Jan S. Adolfssen, Eliza J. Estrup, Oliver Wings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Ørsted Dal Member of the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation in East Greenland is well known for its rich vertebrate fauna, represented by numerous specimens of both body and ichnofossils. In particular, the footprints of theropod dinosaurs have been described. Recently, an international expedition discovered several slabs with 100 small chirotheriid pes and manus imprints (pes length 4-4.5 cm) in siliciclastic deposits of this unit. They show strong similarities with Brachychirotherium, a characteristic Upper Triassic ichnogenus with a global distribution. A peculiar feature in the Fleming Fjord specimens is the lack of a fifth digit, even in more deeply impressed imprints. Therefore, the specimens are assigned here tentatively to cf. Brachychirotherium. Possibly, this characteristic is related to the extremely small size and early ontogenetic stage of the trackmaker. The record from Greenland is the first evidence of this morphotype from the Fleming Fjord Formation. Candidate trackmakers are crocodylian stem group archosaurs; however, a distinct correlation with known osteological taxa from this unit is not currently possible. While the occurrence of sauropodomorph plateosaurs in the bone record links the Greenland assemblage more closer to that from the Germanic Basin of central Europe, here the described footprints suggest a Pangaea-wide exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeological Society Special Publication
PublisherGeological Society of London
Pages71-85
Number of pages15
Volume434
Edition1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameGeological Society Special Publication
Number1
Volume434
ISSN (Print)03058719

Keywords

  • Brachychirotherium
  • Crocodylidae (all crocodiles)
  • Dinosauria
  • Sauropodomorpha
  • Theropoda
  • Vertebrata

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    Klein, H., Milán, J., Clemmensen, L. B., Frobøse, N., Mateus, O., Klein, N., ... Wings, O. (2016). Archosaur footprints (cf. Brachychirotherium) with unusual morphology from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian-Rhaetian) of East Greenland. In Geological Society Special Publication (1 ed., Vol. 434, pp. 71-85). (Geological Society Special Publication; Vol. 434, No. 1). Geological Society of London. https://doi.org/10.1144/SP434.1