Eubrontes

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Eubrontes
Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) - close-up.JPG
Trace fossil classification e
Ichnoclass: Reptilipedia
Ichnocohort: Theropodipedia
Ichnoorder: Neotetanuripedidii
Ichnofamily: Eubrontidae
Ichnogenus: Eubrontes
Hitchcock, 1845
Type ichnospecies
E. giganteus
(Hitchcock, 1836)
Ichnospecies
Eubrontes in the Lower Jurassic Moenave Formation at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, southwestern Utah.

Eubrontes (Hitchcock, 1845) is the name of fossilised dinosaur footprints dating from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. They have been identified from France, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Australia (Queensland) and the USA. It is a junior synonym of Grallator.[1]

Eubrontes is the name of the footprints, identified by their shape, and not of the genus or genera that made them, which is as yet unknown. They are most famous for their discovery in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts in the early 19th century. They, among other footprints, were the first known dinosaur remains to be discovered in North America, though they were initially thought to have been made by large birds by Edward Hitchcock, a professor of Amherst College. Another major find occurred at Rocky Hill, Connecticut in 1966. Nearly 600 prints are preserved there in an area now designated Dinosaur State Park.

In early 1970s, a fiberglass cast of an Eubrontes giganteus footprint was made by Paul E. Olsen, then 14 years old, and his friend Tony Lessa. On June 29, 1972, it was sent by Olsen and Lessa to President Richard Nixon to get his support for registering the Riker Hill Fossil Site in Roseland, New Jersey as a National Natural Landmark.[2]

A typical Eubrontes print is from 25–50 cm long, with three toes that terminate in sharp claws. It belongs to a biped that must have been over one metre high at the hip and from 5–6 metres long. E. Colbert and others supposed that a large heavy carnivore like Teratosaurus (then considered to be a dinosaur) made the track, but a possible candidate is Dilophosaurus, a large theropod related to Coelophysis, or a close relative. However no Dilophosaurus fossil material is associated with Eubrontes tracks.

Eubrontes is the state fossil of Connecticut. The type species is Eubrontes giganteus. The French footprint has been called Eubrontes veillonensis. The name means 'true thunder,' probably referring to the supposed weight of the animal impacting on the ground.

A trackway attributed to the ichnogenus Eubrontes had a missing second digit on the right foot. The animal could have either lost the toe due to injury or it was malformed.[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lockley, M.; Matsukawa, M.; Jianjun, L. (2003). "Crouching Theropods in Taxonomic Jungles: Ichnological and Ichnotaxonomic Investigations of Footprints with Metatarsal and Ischial Impressions". Ichnos 10 (2–4): 169. doi:10.1080/10420940390256249.  edit
  2. ^ Foot Forward. State of The Planet Blogs of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. March 11, 2009 - accessed on March 27, 2009
  3. ^ Molnar, R. E., 2001, Theropod paleopathology: a literature survey: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, p. 337-363.

References[edit]