Field of Science

Footprints of Large Theropod Dinosaurs from the Late Triassic of Brazil

The Caturrita Formation may be younger than previously thought and there is a currently undiscovered large theropod in the latest Triassic of Brazil.

da Silva, R. C., Barboni, R., Dutra, T., Godoy, M. M., and R. B. Binotto. 2012. Footprints of large theropod dinosaurs and implications on the age of Triassic biotas from southern Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 39:16-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2012.06.017

Abstract - Dinosaur footprints found in an outcrop of the Caturrita Formation (Rio Grande do Sul State, Southern Brazil), associated with a diverse and well preserved record of fauna and flora, reopen the debate about its exclusive Triassic age. The studied footprints were identified as Eubrontes isp. and are interpreted as having been produced by large theropod dinosaurs. The morphological characteristics and dimensions of the footprints are more derived than those commonly found in the Carnian–Norian, and are more consistent with those found during the Rhaetian–Jurassic. The trackmaker does not correspond to any type of dinosaur yet known from Triassic rocks of Brazil. Recent studies with the paleofloristic content of this unit also support a more advanced Rhaetian or even Jurassic age for this unit.


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