, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 495-529

Middle Triassic chirotherid trackways on earthquake influenced intertidal limulid reproduction flats of the European Germanic Basin coasts

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Abstract

Chirotherid footprints of Synaptichnium, Chirotherium and Isochirotherium appeared during the late Early (Aegean) to early Late (Carnian) Triassic in central Europe. These taxa are partly revised herein, using both perfect and variably preserved tracks, and very long trackways from an upper Pelsonian intertidal-flat megatracksite of the Germanic Basin coast Pelsonian (Karlstadt Formation). The global Middle Triassic distribution of those footprints suggests seasonal migrations across Pangaea of possible archosauriform reptile trackmakers, such as Euparkeria, Ticinosuchus, Arizonasaurus and Batrachotomus, caused by horseshoe-crab mass migrations into tidal-flat beach reproductive zones in the Germanic Basin. Such seasonal migrations may even suggest a Pangaea-wide food-chain reaction, possibly including the mobilization of fish, marine and terrestrial reptiles, and of which situation the Germanic Basin intertidal-flats is a globally unique example.