These trackways enable researchers to discover habitat preferences in high-latitude dinosaurs.
Ample dinosaur footprints in Alaska reveal that high-latitude hadrosaurs most well-liked tidally influenced habitats, according to a study launched on October 30, 2019, within the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Anthony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Texas and colleagues.
Dinosaur fossils are well-known from Alaska, most famously from areas like Denali Nationwide Park and the North Slope, however there are only a few data of dinosaurs from the Alaskan Peninsula within the southwest half of the state. On this examine, Fiorillo and colleagues doc considerable dinosaur trackways from Aniakchak Nationwide Monument, round 670km southwest of Anchorage.
The trackways have been preserved within the Chignik Formation, a collection of coastal sediment deposits courting again to the Late Cretaceous Interval round 66 million years in the past. Survey work from 2001-2002 and 2016-2018 recognized greater than 75 trackway websites together with dozens of dinosaur footprints. Based mostly on the anatomy of the prints, the authors recognized two footprints of armored dinosaurs, one of a big predatory tyrannosaur, and some footprints attributable to 2 sorts of birds. The remaining 93% of the trackways belonged to hadrosaurs, extremely profitable herbivores that are sometimes the commonest dinosaurs in high-latitude fossil ecosystems.
Earlier analysis on skeletal dinosaur stays in northern Alaska has discovered that hadrosaurs have been most considerable in coastal habitats. The trackways documented on this examine reveal that the identical development was true in southern Alaska. The authors recommend that understanding habitat preferences in these animals will contribute to understanding of how ecosystems modified by means of time as environmental situations shifted and dinosaurs migrated throughout northern corridors between continents.
Fiorillo provides, “Our study shows us something about habitat preferences for some dinosaurs and also that duck-billed dinosaurs were incredibly abundant. Duck-billed dinosaurs were as commonplace as cows, though given we are working in Alaska, perhaps it is better to consider them the caribou of the Cretaceous.”
Reference: “Dinosaur ichnology and sedimentology of the Chignik Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Aniakchak National Monument, southwestern Alaska; Further insights on habitat preferences of high-latitude hadrosaurs” by Anthony R. Fiorillo, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Paul J. McCarthy, Tomonori Tanaka, Ronald S. Tykoski, Yuong-Nam Lee, Ryuji Takasaki and Junki Yoshida, 30 October 2019, PLoS ONE.
Funding: ARF obtained funding for this venture by means of the Perot Paleo Membership, a personal donation. The Perot Paleo Membership performed no function within the examine design, information assortment and evaluation, determination to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.