Brusatte, Stephen L (Research Associate), Challands, Thomas James, Ross, Dugald A, Young, Mark T and Wilkinson, Mark (2015) Sauropod dinosaur trackways in a Middle Jurassic lagoon on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology. ISSN 0036-9276

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The Middle Jurassic was a dynamic interval in dinosaur evolution, but the dinosaur fossil record from this time is extremely poor throughout the world. The Isle of Skye (Scotland) preserves marginal marine and terrestrial deposits of Middle Jurassic age, which have yielded sparse bones, teeth, footprints and small segments of trackways belonging to dinosaurs. We report the discovery of the most extensive dinosaur fossil site yet known in Scotland: a coastal outcrop of the Duntulm Formation (Bathonian) at Cairidh Ghlumaig, Skye that preserves numerous trackways of sauropod dinosaurs in multiple layers deposited in a lagoonal system. We present an initial description of these tracks and identify them as most likely belonging to a primitive, non-neosauropod species that retained a large claw on manual digit I and produced narrow-gauge trackways. They provide additional evidence that basal sauropods persisted deep into the Middle Jurassic, a time when the earliest members of larger and more derived sauropod lineages were radiating. The new Skye tracks document multiple generations of sauropods living within the lagoonal environments of Jurassic Scotland, and along with other tracks found over the past two decades, suggest that sauropods may have frequented such environments, contrary to their image as land-bound behemoths.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Theme: Understanding the natural world
Department: Natural Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 08:26
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 08:26

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