Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
TETRAPOD FOOTPRINTS AND ASSOCIATED BIOTA: NEW EVIDENCES FROM THE UPPER CARBONIFEROUS OF SW SARDINIA (ITALY)
Several tetrapod footprints have been recently found in the U. Carboniferous fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the San Giorgio Basin (Iglesias, SW Sardinia). They represent, together with the ones figured by Fondi (1980), the earliest evidence of vertebrate tracks recorded in Italy. The studied section, about 33 m thick, is located 2.5 km SSW of Iglesias and is entirely assigned to the Westphalian-Stephanian. The specimens originate from the yellow-grey dolomitic siltstone interval of the middle unit (unit B, Del Rio et al., 2002). The collected tetrapod footprints are on eight slabs and are chiefly preserved as casts of three manus-pes couples and by other isolated footprints which, for their different shape and size, are referable to three distinct morphotypes that differ from those assigned to Salichnium (Saurichnites) heringi (Geinitz, 1885) by Fondi (1980). Additional ichnofossils are represented by tiny arthropod tracks and trails. The biota is largely dominated by diversified plant remains and palynomophs, while body fossils are represented by an exquisitely preserved Anthracomartid spider and a blattoid wing. (Del Rio et al., 2002, and cited references). These findings add new data about the U. Carboniferous of Sardinia and suggest an unexpected faunal diversity which may support more accurate age bracketing and correlations.
References: Fondi R. 1980Orme di microsauri nel Carbonifero superiore della Sardegna: Mem.. Soc. Geol. It., 20:347-356.
Del Rio M., Pillola G.L. & Muntoni F. 2002The Upper Carboniferous of San Giorgio basin. Rend. Soc. Paleont. Ital., 1:223-229.