Dinosaur footprints from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia

Shinobu Ishigaki, Mahito Watabe, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, Mototaka Saneyoshi


We report new data on 18 dinosaur footprint localities discovered in the Upper Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, where we have recognized more than 20 000 footprints of dinosaurs. There are at least four types of dinosaur footprints, attributed to theropod, ornithopod, ankylosaurid and sauropod trackmakers. We have also recognized abundant footprints of unidentified trackmakers from each locality. Coexistence of footprints and many skeletal remains in the same and/or nearby beds is a remarkable feature of these Mongolian sites. Analyses of dinosaur footprints and associated body fossil remains for each locality reveal that even in the same beds, the ichnofauna differ from the fauna reconstructed on the basis of body fossils of dinosaurs. The results demonstrate that dinosaur faunal assemblages reconstructed from body fossil or footprint evidence solely should be considered very carefully.


Mongolia; Gobi Desert; Upper Cretaceous; dinosaur; footprint

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