A reconstruction of the possible trackmaker of Isochirotherium gardettensis (Fabio Manucci)

An international team including researchers from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) describes a new type  of footprints for science in the Alta Val Maira (western Alps, Italy). The tracks were made by a large reptile that lived in this area about 250 million years ago, when the Alps had not yet formed and probably was a coastal area with a nearby river delta. The find is exceptional because until now it was considered to be an inhospitable area as a consequence of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

A team of researchers from the Department of Geology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) recently published in PLOS ONE the description of a large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs, reptiles which later evolved into crocodiles and dinosaurs. Among the tracks, there is evidence of a new species, the Prorotodactylus mesaxonichnus, which corresponds to a reptile which lived in the Pyrenees some 247 to 248 million years ago, but which was not related to any dinosaur.


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