Triassic footprint donation

2014-07-25a

Paul Olsen from Columbia University spent the day at VMNH examining some of our Triassic collections. Paul is responsible for much of our understanding of how Newark Supergroup sediments were deposited and how they correlate with each other, so we’re always excited to get his input into our Triassic specimens.

Paul wasn’t only looking at specimens, however; he was also donating them! He dropped of several slabs of rocks containing a number of different types of trackways. Above is one of the smaller tracks, with three blunt, curved toes and apparently some type of heel imprint. Below is a much larger track:

2014-07-25b

This is a much more common type of track in Triassic sediments, a three-toed print from a theropod dinosaur. Only two of the toes are visible in this specimen, with the third hidden under overlying sediment, as outlined below:

2014-07-25c

 

These tracks came from near the northern tip of the Dan River Basin, the same basin that includes the Solite Quarry. While most of the Dan River Basin in Virginia is in Pittsylvania County, the part of the basin that produced these tracks is in Campbell County. As far as I know, that makes these the first vertebrate-related fossils ever found in Campbell County.

Thanks to Paul for donating these interesting fossils to VMNH.

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2 Responses to Triassic footprint donation

  1. Pretty cool especially because if I have my VA paleo history correct, there have been no dinosaurs found in VA (?)

  2. altondooley says:

    Robin, that’s correct. Even though hundreds of dinosaur tracks have been found in Virginia, there have never been any body fossils of non-avian dinosaurs found here.

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