250-Million-Year-Old Archosauriform Footprints Found in Italy

Paleontologists in Italy have discovered an assemblage of fossil footprints left by an Early Triassic archosauriform.

Life appearance of the non-archosaurian archosauriform, the most suitable producer of  Isochirotherium gardettensis . Image credit: Fabio Manucci.

The archosauriform footprints were spotted at a paleontological site on the Gardetta Plateau in the Western Alps, Italy.

Most of the specimens are preserved as natural molds on top of a 3-4 cm thick bed of fine sandstone.

They are shallow, less than 2 cm deep, but most are cut by small-scale cracks/fissures and strongly weathered.

Detailed view of the GT-1 and GT-2 trackways (highlighted) on the Gardetta Plateau in the Piedmont region of Italy.

The tracks are preserved on two distinct surfaces, labeled GT-1 and GT-2.

“GT-1 consists of four clear and two weakly impressed imprints, arranged in a 2.1 m-long trackway in the lower part of the outcrop, just 2 m above the creek level. Its direction on the steep bedding plane points upwards to southeast,” said Dr. Marco Romano from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Sapienza University of Rome and colleagues.

“GT-2 is 2.4-m-long, is preserved in the lower part of the same bedding plane, about 2 m above the creek level.”

The paleontologists assigned the tracks to the new ichnospecies, Isochirotherium gardettensis, and interpreted them as produced by a large-bodied, predatory archosauriform, probably erythrosuchid, trackmaker.

They were made approximately 250 million years ago (Early Triassic epoch), soon after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event.

“This new discovery provides further evidence for the presence of archosauriformes at low latitudes during the Early Triassic epoch,” the researchers said.

“It supports a model in which the Permian-Triassic mass extinction did not completely vacate low-latitude lands from tetrapods that therefore would have been able to cope with the extreme hot temperatures of Pangaea mainland.”

The team’s paper was published in the journal PeerJ.

Related Posts

Incredible Find: 18th-Century Spanish Shipwreck Yields Treasure Trove of Coins and Gems Worth $17 Million.

The Colombian army released images of one of the world’s most valuable shipwrecks, the location of which was unknown for nearly three centuries. Spain’s San Jose galleon was loaded with…

Stunning Discovery: Archaeology Intern Unearths Ancient Roman Dagger Dating Back 2,000 Years, Revealing Astonishing Restoration Results.

When it was found, some people thought it looked like a “chicken tender”. They probably changed their mind soon. The dagger, or ‘chicken tender’, as it was originally…

Incredible Discovery: Ancient Egyptian City Reveals Perennial Wicker Fruit Basket Slice Knitting with Thorn Techniques Preserved for 2,400 Years Underwater

Researchers investigating the submerged metropolis of Thônis-Heracleion, in the Egyptian bay of Abū Qīr, have discovered wicker fruit baskets dated to the fourth century B.C.E. Incredibly, the vessels…

This Remarkable Viking Age Find: The Only Intact Wagon Unearthed, Sheds Light on Its Mysterious Purpose.

The exceptionally well-preserved wagon was found in a burial mound in Oseberg near the Oslo Fjord in Norway. The Oseberg cart, the only complete Viking wagon ever found….

The Enchanting Mystery of the Golden Kitchen: Uncovering a Mystical Gold Mine Underneath the Floorboards, Stirs the Curiosity of Historians and Treasure Hunters Alike!

Homeowners in the United Kingdom discovered a treasure trove of gold coins hidden beneath the wooden floorboards of their kitchen during a renovation. This gold vault, estimated to…

Jaw-Dropping Discovery: Massive Impact from Ancient Meteorite Created Earth’s Largest and Most Impressive Crater

Αгoυпd 2.2 Ьіɩɩіoп уeагѕ аɡo, а mаѕѕіⱱe ѕрасe гoсk сoɩɩіded аɡаіпѕt oυг рɩапet, ɩeаⱱіпɡ а mаѕѕіⱱe ѕсаг. Αɩtһoυɡһ tһe іmрасt ѕіte іѕ tһe oɩdeѕt foυпd to dаte, fіпdіпɡ…

Leave a Reply