Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers which discuss the fascinating information which can be gleaned from studying fossil trackways, particularly the taphonomy of fossil trackways. The first paper looks at how enigmatic elongate tracks may have formed, and the second paper uses tracks to infer paleo topology. Meanwhile, James is a latchkey kid, Amanda opens up the wrong folder, and Curt would like you to know that the joke is over now.


Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

Today our friends look at two papers that talk about foot marks. The first paper is looking at how the foot marks might get long. The ones made by big angry animals with big teeth and no hair are not supposed to be long in the back, but sometimes they are. This paper asks why they are. These big angry animals with big teeth and no hair usually walk on only the very front of their feet. Sometimes papers say it's because the whole foot is put on the ground. But this paper says that it is not because of that but instead that the whole foot goes deep into the ground. This makes the foot mark look very much longer than it should be.

The second paper looks at how some big angry animals with big teeth and no hair walked along a place where the ground was not together and not straight. These animals were walking up and down along this not-straight ground. The tracks they left were not good but they can tell us how things did stuff and walked around and moved on the ground. It just shows that even bad tracks can tell us lots of good things.



Xing, Lida, et al. "Unusual dinosaur  trackway preservation as clues to paleo-landscape and behavior from the  Lower Cretaceous Luohe Formation, Shaanxi Province, China." Geoscience Frontiers 12.2 (2021): 737-745.

Lallensack, Jens N., James O. Farlow,  and Peter L. Falkingham. "A new solution to an old riddle: elongate  dinosaur tracks explained as deep penetration of the foot, not  plantigrade locomotion." Palaeontology 65.1 (2022): e12584.

Direct download: Podcast_234_-_Cool_Trackway_Bro.mp3
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