Exquisitely-Preserved Tracks Of A Bipedal Dinosaur

Grallator tenuis (dinosaur tracks)

Geological Time: Late Triassic/ Early Jurassic Lower Lias, Rhaetian Age (~200 million years ago)

Size: 80 mm by 60 mm and 60 mm by 45 mm on a 235 mm by 205 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Veillon, France

Grallator dinosaur tracksDinosaur tracks are an unusual fossil in that they are one of the few types that provide information about the dinosaur's behavior in life. They preserve a distinct moment in time, and provide information about not only dinosaur behavior, but also about the environment in which the dinosaurs lived. Dinosaur tracks have been found on every continent except Antarctica. They can be petrified replicas of the footprint impression, natural casts (the result of infilling of footprints by sediment), or Theropod dinosaurundertracks formed by the impact of the foot on underlayers.

This fine pair of casts is of the ichnogenus Grallator (heron-foot), first described by Edward Hitchcock in 1858. The first tridactyl print was discovered in the Connecticut Valley 1802 and was attributed to “Noah’s Raven”. These bird-like tracks are thought to have been made by a coelurosaurian theropod similar to Coelophysis. Notice the fine details seen here that include the impressions of the claws and footpads on the larger example.

Also see: Dinosaur Fossils

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