Department of Geology

Fossil Tetrapod Trackways from the Paleozoic

Dr. J Bret Bennington
Office: 138 Gittleson Hall
Phone: 516-463-5568
Fax: 516-463-5120
Upper Mississippian Trackway, Mauch Chunk Fm., Pennsylvania
This trackway was recently discovered by Dr. Edward Simpson at Kutztown University in a layer of fluvial sandstone showing linguoid ripples. The bedding plane exposure reveals two sets of consecutive manus / pes impressions as well as several isolated footprints and sets of digit tip impressions. The incomplete and discontinuous nature of the footprints suggests that most may have been impressed while the trackmaker was swimming.
Bedding plane with footprints
Take a tour of the track site by down- loading this QTVR scene with embedded hot links. Requires Quicktime media player.
Click directly on the small images for a larger view. Click on image label for full-size view.
Close-up of two pair of manus/pes impressions
Isolated digit impressions Latex cast of manus impression

Upper Mississippian Trackway, Bluefield Fm., West Virginia
Tetrapod trackways similar in age to those shown above were described in 1990 from freshwater tidal flat deposits of the Bluefield Fm. in West Virginia. These trackways include both well-impressed footprints made by walking animals as well as digit tip impressions made by swimming animals.
Latex cast of manus / pes pair
Holotype trackway of Hylopus hamesi Reconstruction of trackmaker based on trackways.

Sundberg, F.A., Bennington, J Bret, M. Wizevich, and R.K. Bambach, 1989. Upper Carboniferous (Namurian) amphibian trackways from the Bluefield Formation, West Virginia. Ichnos 1: 111-124. (Download PDF file - 6.9 mb)

Last modified 6-17-02 by Bret Bennington. All rights reserved by the author. This document may not be distributed or posted in any format or reposted on any other server without permission. Take me back to 
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