Ichnites, an echo of the past


What is an ichnite?

An ichnite is a type of fossil, a geological entity product of the presence or activity of a living being in the past. The trace fossil footprints are specifically.

The science that studies the transformation of the components of the biosphere into an element of lithosphere is called taphonomy. The formation and fossilization of traces depends on the type of substrate and subsequent geological processes. The soil should be soft enough so that it is as scored foot (trace, gate …) and sufficiently hard as to not melt after printing.

Then, the power of the water must be not too strong to clear the tracks. Finally, the sediments that are deposited on should be different composition, and the tracks can be recognized easily. So, is necessary erosion activity  to exposed towards the outside.

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What type of dinosaurs ichnites does exist?

Depending on whether the dinosaurs that originated them were plantigrade (never sauropods) or Digitigrade. Mainly we talk about three types:

1- Ornithopods: footprints showing three fingers rounded. They are herbivores, biped or quadruped semi. They are very often.

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2- Theropods: carnivorous dinosaurs but bipedal. Three fingers but with elongated and sharp. On a size of about 12-60 cm (depending on the size of the dinosaur). But with little surface plantar calcaneal lengthening. The largest are produced by Iguanodon.

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3- Sauropods: quadrupedal and herbivorous dinosaurs. Footprints in round very hard to see it sometimes fingers; are printed in the general contour of the ichnite. The tracks are later crescent. They resemble the footprints of elephants today.


What is the study useful for?

First, we can find what species lived in that area in a given geological period. Then we can infer and calculate what kind of locomotion dinosaur groups had different speeds and to marching or running moving, as well as a series of behavioral aspects and behavioral (where fed, the migration routes, whether they were gregarious or not, etc.)

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