Late Jurassic dinosaur footprints from Chassiron–La Morelière (Oléron Island, western France)

  • Jean-David Moreau
  • Didier Néraudeau
  • Romain Vullo
  • Dominique Abit
  • Bastien Mennecart
  • Johann Schnyder
Original Paper
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Abstract

A new dinosaur tracksite was recently discovered in the Upper Jurassic deposits from the Oléron Island (Atlantic Ocean, western France). Tracks are located along the coastline in the tidal area of La Morelière near “Pointe de Chassiron”. They were observed in situ in an evaporitic interval from the “Purbeck beds” Unit. Sediments consist of calcite recrystallised after gypsum dissolution within limestone layers which are composed of thin laminites. The track-bearing surface shows abundant mud cracks and some ripple marks. Ichnofossils consist of medium-sized tridactyl footprints of theropods forming a narrow trackway. In order to obtain 3D reconstructions of the track-bearing surface, the trackway was scanned with a resolution of 0.5 mm using an Artec Eva 3D white-light scanner. As indicated by the track dimensions, the probable trackmaker is assigned to a medium-sized non-coelurosaur tetanuran, such as a megalosauroid or an allosauroid theropod. The palaeoenvironmental context is interpreted as a tidal flat in an evaporitic basin. In addition to the tridactyl tracks, we report sauropod- and thyreophoran-like tracks on two other surfaces from Chassiron–La Morelière.

Keywords

Dinosaur footprints Theropods Sauropods Late Jurassic White-light scanner Oléron Island (France) 

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-David Moreau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Didier Néraudeau
    • 2
  • Romain Vullo
    • 2
  • Dominique Abit
    • 3
  • Bastien Mennecart
    • 4
  • Johann Schnyder
    • 5
  1. 1.CNRS UMR 6282 BiogéosciencesUniversité de Bourgogne Franche-ComtéDijonFrance
  2. 2.CNRS UMR 6118 Géosciences RennesUniversité de Rennes 1RennesFrance
  3. 3.Phare de ChassironSaint-Denis-d’OléronFrance
  4. 4.Naturhistorisches Museum BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris (ISTeP)Sorbonne Universités, UPMC–Univ. Paris 06, CNRS, UMR 7193ParisFrance

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