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TOPIC: Dinosaur Footprints


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Dinosaur Footprints
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Scientists took to the skies Friday near southern Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes to map tens of thousands of dinosaur tracks on the ground.
A helicopter outfitted with high-tech cameras crisscrossed the recently set-aside Moccasin Mountain Track Site, snapping images of fossilised footprints left by at least six species of dinosaurs that roamed the red sandstone more than 180 million years ago.

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RE: Smallest Dinosaur Footprint
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The village of Madar is perhaps an unlikely setting for a major scientific discovery that has been hailed as a 'new frontier' for the Middle East.

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Latitude: 15°4649N, Longitude: 44°1425E

-- Edited by Blobrana at 17:29, 2008-07-21

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Dinosaur Trackways
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Title: Three-Dimensional Modelling and Analysis of Dinosaur Trackways
Authors: Karl T.  Bates, Phillip L.  Manning, Bernat  Vila, David  Hodgetts

Light Detection And Range (LiDAR) imaging provides a means to model the 3D geometry of fossil tracks in the field with high accuracy. This represents a considerable advance for the science of vertebrate ichnology in which traditional field methods suffer from a significant degree of abstraction and lack the resolution required to interpret tracks quantitatively. Three-dimensional LiDAR models provide additional morphometric information and allow the application of new analytical tools unique to the digital environment. The method will enable fossil track morphometrics to develop into an iterative process that combines 3D visualisation and multivariate statistical methods, blending qualitative and quantitative approaches and allowing track morphologies to be compared holistically. Modelling of trackways from Fumanya (south-east Pyrenees) using LiDAR has enabled variation in linear track dimensions to be explained by the varied contribution of different modes of shear with increasing depth below the foot/sediment interface.

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Dinosaur Footprints
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The arid plains of Wyoming and the rugged, rain-soaked mountains of Skye are a world apart, but scientists now believe the two areas were once so close together they formed a giant playground for some of the biggest and most ferocious creatures the planet has ever seen.
Near-identical dinosaur footprints – 165 million years old – have been discovered in Skye's Trotternish peninsula and in the home of Buffalo Bill.

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Scientists have discovered the first dinosaur tracks on the Arabian Peninsula. In this weeks issue of the journal PLoS ONE, they report evidence of a large ornithopod dinosaur, as well as a herd of 11 sauropods walking along a Mesozoic coastal mudflat in what is now the Republic of Yemen.

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New Mexico Trackways
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A federal agency's decision not to renew a mining permit for a rock quarry near Las Cruces will better protect a repository of pre-dinosaur era fossil tracks.

"Our sort of new focus is on trackways protection and trying to reclaim this mine site so the trackways are preserved" - Tim Sanders, assistant manager for the Bureau of Land Management's Las Cruces district.

The BLM decided not to renew the six-month permit held by Raul Villa because of increasing interest in protecting the 280 million-year-old trackways. Permian-period trackways of insects, amphibians and reptiles are found in sedimentary rocks throughout the Robledo Mountains.

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Oldest identified Footprint
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Two reptile-like animals living 290 million years ago are the oldest creatures to have their footprints positively identified after a fortuitous discovery allowed scientists to match fossils to preserved trackways.
Fossils of Diadectes absitus and Orobates pabsti were recently found in the Tambach Formation in central Germany. Nearby and in the same sediment layer, scientists found well-preserved footprints made by creatures that plodded through the region's soft sediments long ago. The footprints turned out to be a match for the fossil animals.
The work, detailed in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology, marks the first footprints of the Palaeozoic Era, a time before the dinosaurs that lasted from 540 to 240 million years ago, to be associated with the animals that made them. It could also force scientists to rethink how the ancient creatures moved.

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RE: Smallest Dinosaur Footprint
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The evidence was overwhelming -- not only were there footprints, but skeletal remains turned up nearby. But solving this 290 million-year-old mystery wasn't so cut-and-dried.
Painstaking measurements had to be sent to the ichnologist -- a fossilised footprint expert -- in Germany. Casts were made of the skeletons. Numerous photographs were taken of the footprints. And a professional artist needed to sketch the suspected culprits.
Today, Carnegie Museum of Natural History researchers announced on the cover of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology that they conclusively matched fossilized tracks found in Germany to the creatures that made them -- Diadectes absitus and Orobates pabsti. Both were herbivores.
It is the first time such a match has been made among the reptile-like creatures that predate dinosaurs. The discovery sheds light on how the creatures moved and where they ranged.

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Credit Mark A. Klingler

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L

Posts: 128096
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Footprint trackways
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Close to one year ago, an English palaeontologist made a startling discovery on the shore of the Bay of Fundy near Dorchester Cape.
Howard Falcon-Lang, a palaeontologist who has been hunting fossils in New Brunswick for 11 years, literally found himself standing on the find of a lifetime as he walked along the shoreline.
Lang was standing on a massive rock, rich with footprint trackways from over 300 million years ago embedded into its surface; the earliest known footprints of reptiles in the world.

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Swimming Dinosaur
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An extraordinary underwater trackway with 12 consecutive prints provides the most compelling evidence to-date that some dinosaurs were swimmers. The 15-meter-long trackway, located in La Virgen del Campo track site in Spain's Cameros Basin, contains the first long and continuous record of swimming by a non-avian therapod dinosaur.
A team led by Rubén Ezquerra, Fundación Patrimonio Paleontológico de La Rioja, La Rioja, Spain, discovered the prints in an area long known for its abundance of terrestrial dinosaur trackways dating from the early Cretaceous 125 million years ago. The team's findings are reported in the June issue of GEOLOGY, published by the Geological Society of America.
The trackway consists of 6 asymmetrical pairs of 2-3 scratch marks each. Each set of scratch marks, preserved in a layer of sandstone, averages approximately 50 centimetres in length and 15 centimetres wide. The spacing between them suggests an underwater stride of 243-271 centimetres.

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