A protoceratopsid skeleton with an associated track from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia
Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, Tomasz Singer, Gerard D. Gierliński, Martin G. Lockley
Cretaceous Research - w druku
The Djadokhta Formation of the Gobi Desert is known for the number and diversity of dinosaur and other vertebrate bones and skeletons found there, but only theropod, hadrosaur and supposed ankylosaurid footprints have been reported from this stratum. Dinosaur footprints are also noted from the Nemegt Formation, and occur as typical dinosaur track acumulations (tracksites). An articulated protoceratopsid skeleton - specimen ZPAL Mg D-II/3 - was collected by the Polish-Mongolian Expedition of 1965 from the Djadokhta Formation of Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia. Recently, the natural cast of a tetradactyl digitigrade footprint was found underneath the pelvic girdle while the skeleton and matrix were being prepared. This is possibly the first find of a dinosaur track in close association with an articulated skeleton. Although Protoceratops is an extremely common dinosaur in Mongolia, its footprints have never previously been reported from the Late Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert.