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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Dinosaur Ichnofossils


Fossilized footprint of a hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur and a type of ornithopod).

ICHNOFOSSILS or ICHNITES

(pronounced IK-nites) Also known as trace fossils or ichnofossils, these are fossilized footprints, nests, dung, gastroliths, burrow, stomach contents, etc., but not actual body parts. Ichnofossils record the movement and behavior of animals. Ichnology is the study of ichnites.


Fossilized footprint of a theropod (meat-eating dinosaur).
ICHNOGENERA
Ichnogenera (meaning "footprint group") are groups of dinosaurs whose characteristics are surmised only from their fossilized footprints. When dinosaur trackways are found, it is nearly impossible to determine which dinosaur genus made the prints, so the prints are given a new genus name, an ichnogenus.

Some ichnogenera include: SOME DINOSAUR ICHNOGENERA


AMBLYDACTYLUS

Amblydactylus is a dinosaur known only from its fossilized footprints; this is an ichnogenus. It was probably a hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur. Fossils of parallel tracks have been found in Canada, and are probably evidence of herds of these dinosaurs.

ANCHISAURIPUS

(pronounced AN-key-SAWR-ip-us) Anchisauripus is an ichnogenus of dinosaur, a theropod dinosaur only known from fossilized, bipedal, three-toed footprints (roughly 4 to 7 inches long) from Connecticut, USA during the late Triassic to early Jurassic period. It was named by Lull in 1904.

ANOMOEPUS

Anomoepus intermedius is a dinosaur known only from its fossilized tail prints; these prints are only a few inches long. It lived during the Triassic period. Anomoepus was named by E. B. Hitchcock in 1848. Fossils have been found in Holyoke, Massachusetts and New Jersey, USA.

EUBRONTES

(pronounced you-BRONT-tees) Eubrontes giganteus is a dinosaur known only from its fossilized, three-toed footprints. Eubrontes means "true thunder." The sandstone tracks range from 10-16 inches (25.5-41 cm) long and they are spaced 3.5-4.5 feet (1-1.4 m) apart. These sizes indicate that the dinosaur who made the prints was about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall at the hip (about the size of Dilophosaurus). The shape and pattern of the prints indicate that it was a theropod, a bipedal meat-eater. The tracks date from about 200 million years ago, during the early Jurassic period. Eubrontes trackways were found in Connecticut, USA. Geologist Edward Hitchcock named them in 1845. No fossilized bones have been found in the vicinity, but over 2,000 tracks have been uncovered in what is now Dinosaur State Park. Eubrontes is the state fossil of Connecticut.

GRALLATOR

(pronounced GRAL-uh-tore) Grallator was a herding dinosaur known only from its fossilized footprints. The relatively common, three-toed tracks average about 7 inches (17 cm) long. The shape and pattern of the bipedal prints (including the ratios of the lengths of the toes) indicate that it was probably a small theropod (a bipedal meat-eater) similar to Coelophysis. The tracks date from about 200 million years ago, during the very late Triassic period to the early Jurassic period. Grallator trackways have been found in the USA (NJ, PA, CT), Canada, and Europe.

MEGALOSAURIPUS

(pronounced MEG-ah-lo-SAWR-uh-pus) Megalosauripus (meaning "great lizard foot") is a dinosaur which is known only from its fossilized, three-toed footprints; it is an ichnogenus. Megalosauripus tracks are the footprints of a Megalosaur (hence its name) from the late Jurassic period. Fossilized footprints have been found in Asia, Europe, and North America, Megalosaurs were meat-eating bipeds (theropods).


Other Ichnofossil Web Links:
An Overview of Dinosaur Tracking by G. J. Kuban.

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You might also like:
Dinosaur Genus List - PDinosaur Genus List - BDinosaur Genus List - TLate Cretaceous DinosaursDinosaur Genus List - AToday's featured page: Plant Glossary



ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.


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