Cretaceous tetrapod tracks from Italy: a treasure trove of exceptional biodiversity

Authors

  • Fabio Massimo Petti &lt;p&gt;Muse - Museo delle Scienze di Trento&lt;/p&gt;<br />&lt;p&gt;Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza,&amp;nbsp; 3&lt;/p&gt;<br />&lt;p&gt;38122 Trento (TN)&lt;/p&gt;
  • Matteo Antonelli <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Paolo Citton IIPG, Instituto de Investigaci&oacute;n en Paleobiolog&iacute;a y Geolog&iacute;a (CONICET), General Roca, R&iacute;o Negro, Argentina.
  • Nino Mariotti <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Marco Petruzzelli Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, Universit&agrave; di Bari &ldquo;Aldo Moro&rdquo;, Bari, Italy
  • Johannes Pignatti <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Simone D'Orazi Porchetti <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Marco Romano <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Eva Sacchi <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.</p>
  • Enrico Sacco <p>Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Universit&agrave; di Roma, Roma, Italy.&nbsp;</p>
  • Alexander Wagensommer GRID (Gruppo di Ricerca sulle Impronte di Dinosauro), San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3304/jmes.2020.16873

Keywords:

Palaeontology, Ichnology, Sedimentology

Abstract

After about thirty years of investigations, the Cretaceous tetrapod track record from Italy has proved to be a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for improving our understanding of the palaeogeographical and palaeoenvironmental evolution of the peri-Adriatic area. In the present contribution, we summarize the current knowledge and the different interpretations proposed on the basis of twelve ichnosites from northern, central and southern Italy to date discussed within the scientific community. The tetrapod track record is represented by few ichnosites in the earliest Cretaceous, whereas the bulk of the record has been reported from carbonate platform deposits of the Aptian-Cenomanian interval and, in the Late Cretaceous, from a mega-tracksite in Apulia preserving thousands of dinosaur footprints. On the whole, the ichnological diversity documented by the material indicates a high diversity of producers, among which are sauropods, different theropods, ankylosaurs and hadrosaurs. The persistent occurrence of dinosaur footprints at different stratigraphic levels produced significant questions and constituted a dramatic constraint for the understanding of the palaeogeographical and geodynamical evolution of the Mediterranean area during the Mesozoic,

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Published

2020-09-22

How to Cite

Petti, F. M., Antonelli, M., Citton, P., Mariotti, N., Petruzzelli, M., Pignatti, J., D’Orazi Porchetti, S., Romano, M., Sacchi, E., Sacco, E., & Wagensommer, A. (2020). Cretaceous tetrapod tracks from Italy: a treasure trove of exceptional biodiversity. Journal of Mediterranean Earth Sciences, 12. https://doi.org/10.3304/jmes.2020.16873

Issue

Section

Tetrapod ichnology in Italy: the state of the art