The term undertrack (or underprint [45]) certainly seems to imply that tracks

The term undertrack (or underprint [45]) certainly seems to imply that tracks of some sort may be transmitted into the substrate. Yet, at the same time and in a broader context, it is generally agreed that tracks of any kind must be autochthonous fossils. The remnants of a track-maker’s carcass may be transported into an alien environment and preserved there in the form of body fossils, but its tracks cannot be transported in the same manner. Indeed, the scientific value of fossil tracks resides largely in the fact that they are not transportable: they are, for that very reason, the most significant and trustworthy clues to the geographic distribution and habitat preferences of ancient trackmakers. Now, if tracks cannot be transferred horizontally, from one geographic setting to another, it would seem even less likely that they could be transmitted or transported vertically, from one stratigraphic horizon to another. In that case the sub-surface features called undertracks could not be tracks of any description. In short, the common distinction between tracks and undertracks seems to skirt round an inconsistency: it acknowledges that tracks cannot be transported horizontally but suggests that they are transported vertically. All that confusion and uncertainty stems from indiscriminate use of the word track. In any given context that all-embracing term might refer to anything from a single footprint (sensu stricto) to an purchase ARA290 entire dinosaurian thoroughfare, including objects which are declared to be something other than true tracks and are denied the formal status of tracks (in the sense of ichnotaxa). It is difficult to imagine a more confusing system of terminology. The terms introduced here will permit escape from the existing paradox, in which tracks (sensu latissimo) are held to comprise true tracks and tracks which are not true tracks (i.e. undertracks and overtracks). The term footprints refers explicitly and unambiguously to true or direct tracks, whether singly or in natural groups (manus-pes couples and trackways); and the term transmitted reliefs (of footprints) will distinguish undertracks or indirect tracks. Here thePLoS ONE | www.plosone.orgSubstrates Deformed by Cretaceous DinosaursFigure 21. Hierarchy of transmitted reliefs: an entire sauropod trackway. A trough of deformed substrate extending from upper right to lower left betrays the route taken by a sauropod dinosaur. Arrows indicate the steeply dipping flanks of the trough; vertical pointers identify mucheroded stacks of transmitted reliefs representing individual pes prints. Scale indicated by 1 ft (c. 31 cm) ruler at lower right. This complex pattern of substrate deformation cannot be detected by Beclabuvir price conventional search for pristine (`museum-grade’) footprints on an intact bedding plane; it is revealed only in broken and eroded specimens which are often deemed to be of inferior quality. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036208.gword relief is used in its conventional sense for an object showing elevation or projection from a plane surface, as in a relief map or bas-relief. The minor features called overtracks (sensu Marty [46],not `overprints’ sensu Lockley [45]) hardly warrant a special designation; they are surely no more significant than those that might happen to overlie ripples, pebbles, erosional features orFigure 22. Basins and channels produced by the impact of sauropod feet. A, short stretch of coast with evidence of much sauropod traffic; along the seaward margin two larg.The term undertrack (or underprint [45]) certainly seems to imply that tracks of some sort may be transmitted into the substrate. Yet, at the same time and in a broader context, it is generally agreed that tracks of any kind must be autochthonous fossils. The remnants of a track-maker’s carcass may be transported into an alien environment and preserved there in the form of body fossils, but its tracks cannot be transported in the same manner. Indeed, the scientific value of fossil tracks resides largely in the fact that they are not transportable: they are, for that very reason, the most significant and trustworthy clues to the geographic distribution and habitat preferences of ancient trackmakers. Now, if tracks cannot be transferred horizontally, from one geographic setting to another, it would seem even less likely that they could be transmitted or transported vertically, from one stratigraphic horizon to another. In that case the sub-surface features called undertracks could not be tracks of any description. In short, the common distinction between tracks and undertracks seems to skirt round an inconsistency: it acknowledges that tracks cannot be transported horizontally but suggests that they are transported vertically. All that confusion and uncertainty stems from indiscriminate use of the word track. In any given context that all-embracing term might refer to anything from a single footprint (sensu stricto) to an entire dinosaurian thoroughfare, including objects which are declared to be something other than true tracks and are denied the formal status of tracks (in the sense of ichnotaxa). It is difficult to imagine a more confusing system of terminology. The terms introduced here will permit escape from the existing paradox, in which tracks (sensu latissimo) are held to comprise true tracks and tracks which are not true tracks (i.e. undertracks and overtracks). The term footprints refers explicitly and unambiguously to true or direct tracks, whether singly or in natural groups (manus-pes couples and trackways); and the term transmitted reliefs (of footprints) will distinguish undertracks or indirect tracks. Here thePLoS ONE | www.plosone.orgSubstrates Deformed by Cretaceous DinosaursFigure 21. Hierarchy of transmitted reliefs: an entire sauropod trackway. A trough of deformed substrate extending from upper right to lower left betrays the route taken by a sauropod dinosaur. Arrows indicate the steeply dipping flanks of the trough; vertical pointers identify mucheroded stacks of transmitted reliefs representing individual pes prints. Scale indicated by 1 ft (c. 31 cm) ruler at lower right. This complex pattern of substrate deformation cannot be detected by conventional search for pristine (`museum-grade’) footprints on an intact bedding plane; it is revealed only in broken and eroded specimens which are often deemed to be of inferior quality. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036208.gword relief is used in its conventional sense for an object showing elevation or projection from a plane surface, as in a relief map or bas-relief. The minor features called overtracks (sensu Marty [46],not `overprints’ sensu Lockley [45]) hardly warrant a special designation; they are surely no more significant than those that might happen to overlie ripples, pebbles, erosional features orFigure 22. Basins and channels produced by the impact of sauropod feet. A, short stretch of coast with evidence of much sauropod traffic; along the seaward margin two larg.

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