Boyevaya Gora tracksite (Permian of Russian Federation)

Where: Orenburg, Russian Federation (51.3° N, 54.9° E: paleocoordinates 30.9° N, 46.7° E)

• coordinate stated in text

• outcrop-level geographic resolution

When: Changhsingian (254.2 - 252.2 Ma)

• "a set of tracks made by a very large quadrupedal tetrapod in Vyatkian Gorizont strata not far below the Permian ⁄ Triassic boundary... equivalent in age to the Dicynodon Assemblage Zone of South Africa, and equates with the Changhsingian Stage of the Late Permian (Lopingian) (Benton et al. 2004)", bed "45" (Surkov et al. 2007)

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: lacustrine - large; mudstone

• "The mudstone bed containing the impressed footprints overlies a pinkish-grey, cemented palaeosol containing abundant root traces, and is interpreted as the uppermost unit of a heterolithic channel fill. However, the impressed mudstone itself was most likely deposited beneath ponded flood waters, and contains no root traces, indicating that there was insufficient time for significant plant colonization prior to deposition of the overlying bed. The absence of mud cracks may indicate that the substrate did not dry out completely prior to the deposition of the overlying sandstone bed, and it is plausible that a thin layer of water was present during the formation of at least some of the footprints. However, the lack of preserved raised displacement rims (cf. Manning 2004) around the footprints implies that the flooding event that brought in the overlying sand was initially erosive; this is supported by the presence of rip-up clasts in the base of the sandstone, and thus evidence of emergence such as shallow mud cracks or superficial mud-curls may also have been removed. Certainly, the well-preserved footprint casts with detailed hoof scratches would have required a firm, but not waterlogged, substrate and were probably emplaced on an emergent, but not desiccated, surface. Given the consistent palaeocurrent directions above and below the footprint level, it is likely that the animals were moving in a shallow, ENE–WSW-orientated depression that had recently been flooded." (Surkov et al. 2007)

Size class: macrofossils

Preservation: trace

Collection methods: SGU - Saratov State University, Geology Collection

Primary reference: M. V. Surkov, M. J. Benton, R. J. Twitchett, V. P. Tverdokhlebov, and A. J. Newell. 2007. First occurrence of footprints of large therapsids from the Upper Permian of European Russia. Palaeontology 50(3):641-652 [A. Dunhill/B. Allen]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 196927: authorized by Alex Dunhill, entered by Bethany Allen on 13.10.2018

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

Osteichthyes
 Therapsida -
Brontopus giganteus Heyler and Lessertisseur 1963 therapsid
SGU N 161 ⁄ 240–245, 14 prints