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Dinosaur-plant interactions within a Middle Jurassic ecosystem—palynology of the Burniston Bay dinosaur footprint locality, Yorkshire, UK
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
Sheffield, UK.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2987-5559
2018 (English)In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, ISSN 1867-1594, E-ISSN 1867-1608, Vol. 98, p. 139-151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dinosaur footprints are abundant in the Middle Jurassic Ravenscar Group of North Yorkshire, UK. Footprints are particularly common within the Bathonian Long Nab Member of the Scalby Formation and more so within the so called ‘Burniston footprint bed’ at Burniston Bay. The Yorkshire Jurassic is also famous for its exceptional plant macrofossil and spore-pollen assemblages. Here we investigate the spore-pollen record from the dinosaur footprint-bearing successions in order to reconstruct the vegetation and assess possible dinosaur-plant interactions. We also compare the spore-pollen assemblages with the macroflora of the Scalby Ness Plant Bed, which occurs within the same geological member as the Burniston succession. The spore-pollen assemblages are dominated by Deltoidospora spp., the majority of which were probably produced by Coniopteris. Lycophyte spores (including megaspores) are common in the Yorkshire Jurassic, but lycophyte parent plants are extremely poorly represented in the macroflora. Seed ferns, represented by Alisporites spp., are moderately abundant. Conifer pollen assemblages are dominated by Araucariacites australis (probably produced by Brachyphyllum mamillare), Perinopollenites elatoides and Classopollis spp., with additional bisaccate pollen taxa. Abundant Ginkgo huttonii in themacroflora suggests that much of the monosulcate pollen was produced by ginkgoes. The diverse vegetation of the Cleveland Basin presumably represented an attractive food source for herbivorous dinosaurs. The dinosaurs probably gathered at the flood plains for fresh-water and also used the non-vegetated plains and coastline as pathways. Although assigning specific makers to footprints is difficult, it is clear that a range of theropod, ornithopod and sauropod dinosaurs inhabited the area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2018. Vol. 98, p. 139-151
Keywords [en]
Jurassic, Palynology, Spores and pollen, Dinosaur footprints, Yorkshire, Ravenscar Group, Scalby Formation
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2913DOI: 10.1007/s12549-017-0309-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2913DiVA, id: diva2:1258340
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-04264
Note

This research was funded by a Natural Environment Research Council CASE (NE/J500100) Award with Shell Research Limited and a Swedish Research Council grant, VR 2015-04264.

Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2019-01-07

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-017-0309-9

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