First evidence of a tetrapod footprint from the Triassic of northern Victoria Land, Antarctica

  • Thomas Mörs Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History
  • Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki Subdepartment of Evolution and Development, Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University
  • Laura Crispini Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Ambiente e Vita, University of Genova
  • Andreas Läufer Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)
  • Benjamin Bomfleur Palaeobotany Research Group, Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Keywords: Beacon Supergroup, Helliwell Hills, ichnotaxon, Procolophonichnium, Rennick Glacier, Transantarctic Basin

Abstract

Here, we report on a tetrapod footprint from the Transantarctic Basin in the far north of Victoria Land, which marks the first record of terrestrial vertebrates for this region. The single specimen derives from a previously unknown lithological unit of Middle or Late Triassic age of the Beacon Supergroup in the Helliwell Hills in the central Rennick Glacier area. It differs in both size and morphology clearly from Middle Triassic trackway types from the upper Fremouw Formation of the Queen Alexandra Range in southern Victoria Land, and likely represents a primitive amniote, procolophonid or therapsid. The footprint is the third evidence of fossil vertebrate trackways in Antarctica.

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Published
2019-02-14
How to Cite
Mörs, T., Niedźwiedzki, G., Crispini, L., Läufer, A., & Bomfleur, B. (2019). First evidence of a tetrapod footprint from the Triassic of northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Polar Research, 38. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v38.3438
Section
Research Notes