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Dinosaur footprints in the Early Jurassic of Patagonia (Marifil Volcanic Complex, Argentina): biochronological and palaeobiogeographical inferences


A new dinosaurian track-bearing site, with tridactyl footprints from the Lower Jurassic (pre-middle Pliensbachian) volcanogenic and epiclastic rocks of the Marifil Volcanic Complex, Patagonia, Argentina, is presented and described. The best-preserved footprint, classified as cf. Anomoepus, confirms the utility of the Anomoepus-like tracks for the Early Jurassic biochronology. Palaeobiogeographically, this record supports the idea that the South American Early Jurassic dinosaur fauna presents elements of Pangaean distribution, and others with Gondwanan relationships with prevalent southern African affinities. Dinosaur records from South America between the Rhaetian and the Pliensbachian are very scarce, and this find contributes to the knowledge of early radiation and evolution of Dinosauria.

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