Novel track morphotypes from new tracksites indicate increased Middle Jurassic dinosaur diversity on the Isle of Skye, Scotland - NMS Research Repository
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Novel track morphotypes from new tracksites indicate increased Middle Jurassic dinosaur diversity on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Abstract

Dinosaur fossils from the Middle Jurassic are rare globally, but the Isle of Skye (Scotland, UK) preserves a varied dinosaur record of abundant trace fossils and rare body fossils from this time. Here we describe two new tracksites from Rubha nam Brathairean (Brothers’ Point) near where the first dinosaur footprint in Scotland was found in the 1980s. These sites were formed in subaerially exposed mudstones of the Lealt Shale Formation of the Great Estuarine Group and record a dynamic, subtropical, coastal margin. These tracksites preserve a wide variety of dinosaur track types, including a novel morphotype for Skye: Deltapodus which has a probable stegosaur trackmaker. Additionally, a wide variety of tridactyl tracks shows evidence of multiple theropods of different sizes and possibly hints at the presence of large-bodied ornithopods. Overall, the new tracksites show the dinosaur fauna of Skye is more diverse than previously recognized and give insight into the early evolution of major dinosaur groups whose Middle Jurassic body fossil records are currently sparse.

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Novel_track_morphotypes_from_new_tracksites.pdf
12 Mar 2020
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