Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

Neither bones nor feet: track morphological variation and “preservation quality”

Gatesy, SM and Falkingham, PL (2017) Neither bones nor feet: track morphological variation and “preservation quality”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. ISSN 1937-2809

JVP_Resubmission1.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (4MB) | Preview


As purely sedimentary structures, fossil footprints are all about shape. Correctly interpreting the significance of their surface topography requires understanding the sources of morphological variation. Differences among specimens are most frequently attributed to either taxonomy (trackmaker) or to preservation quality. “Well-preserved” tracks are judged more similar to pedal anatomy than “poorly preserved” ones, but such broad-brush characterizations confound two separate episodes in a track’s history. Current evaluations of track quality fail to distinguish among behavioral, formational, intravolumetric, and post-formational sources of variation. Based on analogy with body fossils, we recommend restricting assessments of track preservation quality to modifications that take place only after a track is created. Ichnologists need to try to parse the relative influence of factors affecting disparity, but we currently lack an adequate vocabulary to describe the overall shapes and specific features of formational variants.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on 9th June 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02724634.2017.1314298
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0403 Geology, 0602 Ecology, 0603 Evolutionary Biology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 09:00
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 04:03
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1314298
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5758
View Item View Item