Researchers discover possible turtle swim track from late Triassic

2023-03-15 13:08:20Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Researchers have discovered a possible turtle swim track from the Third Member of the Late Triassic Xujiahe Formation in Pengzhou City of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

According to the research team, led by Xing Lida from the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, this trace fossil is about 7 cm in length and 6 cm in width, with an obvious three-toed pattern and long claw marks that sharpen to the distal end. They conducted a three-dimensional scan and compared it with the footprints of other reptiles.

Based on the results, it can be inferred that the morphology of the imprints bears the closest resemblance to turtle tracks, and it is highly probable that an early non-crown group representative was the creator of these imprints, according to the researchers.

They added that because of the limited specimen, they do not completely exclude an affinity with crocodylomorphs, theropod dinosaurs, or other archosaurs.

The discovery of these imprints adds to the Late Triassic fauna in Pengzhou and suggests that there may be more vertebrate fossil records to uncover. This finding is also valuable for scientists studying the local paleoenvironment.

The researchers published their findings jointly with their counterparts from Australia and the United States in the journal Historical Biology.


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