地质通报  2019, Vol. 38 Issue (6): 905-910  
0

引用本文 [复制中英文]

Xing L D, Niu K C, Lovkley M G, Guo Y, Tang Y G, Persons W S Ⅳ, Ran H. Cretaceous dinosaur tracks from Maling Mountain of Xinyi City, Jiangsu Province:From tiger to carnivorous dinosaur and from folklore to paleontology[J]. Geological Bulletin of China, 2019, 38(6): 905-910.
[复制英文]
邢立达, 钮科程, 洛克利 马丁G, 郭颖, 唐永刚, 培森四世 W.斯考特, 冉浩. 中国新沂马陵山白垩纪恐龙足迹——从虎到肉食龙及由传说至古生物学[J]. 地质通报, 2019, 38(6): 905-910.
[复制中文]

This project

This project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41790455, 41772008), the National Geographic Society, USA (No. EC0768-15); the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2652017215), the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) (No. 173127)

Author

XING Lida (1982-), male, Ph.D, Professor, presently specializes in the Mesozoic vertebrate paleontology and functional morphology.E-mail:xinglida@cugb.edu.cn

文章历史

收稿日期: 2018-09-29
修订日期: 2018-10-20
Cretaceous dinosaur tracks from Maling Mountain of Xinyi City, Jiangsu Province:From tiger to carnivorous dinosaur and from folklore to paleontology
XING Lida1,2,3 , NIU Kecheng3 , LOVKLEY Martin G4 , GUO Ying5 , TANG Yonggang5 , PERSONS W Scott Ⅳ6 , RAN Hao7     
1. State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China;
2. School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China;
3. Yingxiang No.5 Stone Nature History Museum, Quanzhou 362300, Fujian, China;
4. Dinosaur Trackers Research Group, University of Colorado, Denver PO Box 173364, Denver CO 80217, USA;
5. Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Linyi University, Linyi 276000, Shandong, China;
6. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 11145 Saskatchewan Drive, EdmontonAlberta T6G 2E9, Canada;
7. Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection, Ministry of Education, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China
This project: This project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41790455, 41772008), the National Geographic Society, USA (No. EC0768-15); the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2652017215), the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) (No. 173127)
Abstract: Four enigmatic depressions, traditionally referred to as "tiger's paw traces" and "human footprints" from "Li Cunxiao Fighting Tiger" site of the Maling Mountain area in Xinyi City of Jiangsu Province are here interpreted as dinosaur tracks belonging to the Early Cretaceous Tianjialou Formation of the Dasheng Group. Only one of the "tiger's paw traces" at the largest depth preserves recognizable digit tracks, suggesting it is a left theropod track, with posterior medial hallux trace, forming part of a linear trackway with steps of~50cm. Alternatively, the track may be a small sauropod right pes track forming part of a trackway in which the left side footprints were not registered. Malingshan tracksite demonstrates another case of how dinosaur tracks influenced Chinese folklore.
Key words: Early Cretaceous    dinosaur tracks    theropod    Dasheng Group    legend    
中国新沂马陵山白垩纪恐龙足迹——从虎到肉食龙及由传说至古生物学
邢立达1,2,3, 钮科程3, 洛克利马丁G4, 郭颖5, 唐永刚5, 培森四世W.斯考特6, 冉浩7    
1. 中国地质大学(北京)生物地质与环境地质国家重点实验室, 北京 100083;
2. 中国地质大学(北京)地球科学与资源学院, 北京 100083;
3. 福建省印象五号石文化博物馆, 福建 泉州 362000;
4. 美国科罗拉多大学丹佛分校恐龙追踪者团队, 美国 丹佛 80217;
5. 临沂大学地质与古生物研究所, 山东 临沂 276000;
6. 阿尔伯塔大学生物科学系, 加拿大 埃德蒙顿 T6G 2E9;
7. 广西师范大学珍稀濒危动植物生态与环境保护省部共建教育部重点实验室, 广西 桂林 541004
摘要: 江苏省新沂市马陵山地区的4个神秘的印记,传统上被解释为“李存孝打虎处”的“虎爪印”和“人足迹”,重新将其解释为大盛群田家楼组恐龙足迹。这些足迹中只有一个最深的“虎爪印”保存了可识别的趾印,表明它是一个有着后内侧拇趾印的兽脚类恐龙左足迹,是一道单步约50cm的直线行迹的一部分;另一种解释是该足迹为小型蜥脚类恐龙的右后足迹,形成行迹的右侧部分,其左侧部分没有保存。马陵山足迹点提供了恐龙足迹如何影响中国民间传说的另一个案例。
关键词: 早白垩世    恐龙足迹    蜥脚类    大盛群    传说    
1 Introduction

The Yishu fault zone (along Zhucheng-Ju'nan-Linshu- Tancheng), between Shandong Province and northern Jiangsu Province, is part of the famous Tanlu fault zone of northeastern China[1]. Since 2005, a number of dinosaur tracksites have been reported from the Yishu fault zone, including sites in Houzuoshan[2-6], Nanguzhai[7-8], Zhangzhuhewang[9], Jisha[10], Tangdigezhuang[11], Beilin[12], Nanquan[13], Qingquansi[14-15] and Houmotuan[16]. Trackmakers from these sites included non- avain theropods, birds, sauropods, and ornithischians, with the non-avain theropod showing the highest diversity.

For centuries, throughout China, dinosaur footprints have influenced popular legends and myths in the local areas where they occur[17]. Ancient and contemporary folklore interpreted dinosaur footprints as tracks of mythical birds, mammals, gods, mythic heroes and/or as flower blossoms magically carved into stone[17-19]. In many regions of China, track-bearing slabs were utilized as building materials and integrated in houses, yards, or cave dwellings, often serving as auspicious symbols or aesthetic decorations[18].

In June 2018, the first author was contacted by Mr. Wang Yangzi, who expressed suspicion that the so-called"tiger's paw traces"at"Li Cunxiao fighting tiger"site (GPS: 34° 11'33.58"N, 118° 20'25.65"E), a famous tourist attraction of Maling Mountain in Xinyi City, were quite similar to dinosaur tracks (Fig. 1). In September 2018, the main author investigated this site and made 3D models of the prints using 3D photographic technique. Their identity as dinosaur tracks is here confirmed.

Fig.1 Locality map showing location of the Malingshan site

Institutional abbreviations:

HMK = Hemenkou site, Yunnan Province, China; MLS = Malingshan site, Jiangsu Province, China; QQ = Qingquan site, Shandong Province, China

2 Geological setting

The Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group, in Shandong and northern Jiangsu Province, represents a set of alluvial fan- fluvial- lacustrine facies of detrital rocks mixed with muddy limestone. Kuang et al.[20] divided the Dasheng Group into the Lower Malanggou and Upper Tianjialou Formations.

The Tianjialou Formation forms the majority of the Jiaolai Basin deposits, which are a set of lacustrine facies dominated by dark gray, yellow green, and purple detrital rocks. Occasionally, these facies are mixed with dolomitic mudstones and micrite dolomite (dolomicrite). The thickness of the Tianjialou Formation exceeds 500m. Based on regional geological surveys and biostratigraphy, Kuang et al.[20] considered that the Tianjialou/Mengtuan formations to have formed in the Late Aptian-Albian, about 110~100Ma.

The Malingshan tracksite is situated to the east of Malingshan Town, Xinyi City, Jiangsu Province. There are at least two dinosaur tracks exposed on an outcrop that measures 3m long and 2m wide. The tracks at the Malingshan tracksite are preserved in brick- red, medium thick- bedded, medium, grained sandstone and siltstone. Based on previous geological mapping of the area[21], the Malingshan tracksite belongs to the Tianjialou Formation of the Dasheng Group.

3 Methods

The in- situ track horizon was digitally photographed (24 photographs) from various perspectives using a Canon EOS 5D Mark Ⅲ. Photographs were added to Agisoft Photoscan Professional Edition (version 1.2.6 build 2038 64 bit) following the procedure adapted from Xing et al.[8] to create a virtual 3D track model. Visualisation of this surface using false- colour elevation, contour maps, and ambient occlusions images were made through Paraview[22] (version 5.0.0 64 bit) and CloudCompare (v2.6.1 64 bit; www.cloudcompare.org) software packages.

4 Dinosaur tracks

MLS- T1 is composed of three presumed pes tracks: cataloged as MLS-T1a-d (Fig. 2). MLS-T1a is the best- preserved and only reasonably diagnostic track. T1b and T1d are very shallow, only preserving the heel area. T1c is evidently too shallow to have been preserved, and so its position can only be inferred. MLS- T2 is an isolated track made by another track maker. MLS-T1 and T2 are internally eroded and rainwater that has accumulated in the track to deepen them.

Fig.2 Photo (A), photogrammetric image (B), and outline drawings (C) of Malinshan tracks

There are two possible interpretations of MLST-1a, which is 16.5cm in length and 12.5cm in width with an L/W ratio of 1.3. There are three distinguishable claw marks in the distal area of the track that likely correspond to digits Ⅱ- Ⅳ of a theropod. This interpretation is consistent with the aforementioned step and stride measurements (58cm and 100cm respectively). The L/W ratio of 1.3 and the predominantly tridactyl pattern, with hint of tetradactyl, morphology, indicate MLS-T1a is likely a theropod in a linear series (narrow trackway). In this interpretation the short right side digit could be the hallux (digit Ⅰ trace), preserved because the track penetrated the substrate deeply, and the three anterior digit traces would represents digits Ⅱ-Ⅳ. This interpretation is perhaps the most plausible. Both theropod and sauropod tracks are common in the Early Cretaceous of China. Generally speaking theropod tracks show a greater range of size and include more small footprints.

An alternative interpretation is that the left side, large claw mark represents robust digit Ⅰ of a sauropod. The'middle'claw mark would represent digit Ⅱ and the right side trace would represent digit Ⅲ. The small bulge on the right side of the track could be the impression of digit Ⅳ/Ⅴ. This would make the track a right pes. However, the linear sequence of tracks makes this interpretation unlikely, and would require a series of right footprints, and open the question of why the left footprints are not preserved. It also appears that if this were a right sauropod pes it is rotated the wrong way: i.e. outward to left rather than to the right. There are also no manus traces, although this could be explained by overprinting and poor preservation. In the sauropod interpretation one could argue that the metatarsophalangeal pad region is smoothly curved, but this does not make up for the aforementioned arguments against a sauropod interpretation based on the apparent narrow linear arrangement of tracks.

Early Cretaceous sauropod tracks in East Asia are frequently attributed to either wide gauge Brontopodus [23] or narrow gauge Parabrontopodus[24-26]. MLS-T1 is small with three well- developed digit impressions directed anteriorly, a pattern sometimes seen in smaller sauropod pes tracks in Korea[27]. Although Brontopodus is the predominant sauropod ichnogenus in the Cretaceous of China and elsewhere, other small- sized sauropod tracks from Shandong, Gansu and Beijing, South Korea have been referred to Parabrontopodus isp.[26]. This alternative label could be consistent with the tiny size of MLS- T1 which suggests a very small sauropod trackmaker, which is quite rare, although Lockley et al.[28] recently reported the smallest sauropod tracks known from China. Similar sized sauropod track are also known from the? Middle—Upper Jurassic Shedian Formation at Shuangbai, Yunnan Province (HMK- SIP1, 21.2cm) [29] and a sauropod trackway (QQ-S3, 19cm) from the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group of southeast Shandong Province, China (Xing et al., in press). Assuming a hip height/foot length ratio in the range of 4.0~5.9:1 for a sauropod[30-31], the hip height of the MLS- T1 trackmaker is approximately 66~ 97.35cm. The body length/hip height ratio is 3.7:1 (based on Shunosaurus) [32]. The body length of the MLS- T1 trackmaker is estimated to be 2.4~3.6m. Small theropod hip height is generally estimated as 4.5 times foot length[31], and body length can be estimated at 2.63 times hip height[33]. Based on this method, and assuming the trackmaker for MLS-T1, a hip height of 74 cm and a body length of over 2m can be calculated.

The MLS- T2 is 22cm in length and 8.5cm in width, with an L/W ratio of 2.6. No claw marks can be identified, and its contour is similar to a human footprint. Similar tracks have sometimes been identified as those of theropods with well-developed metatarsal pad traces. If that were the case, the three toes (digits Ⅱ-Ⅳ) of MLS- T2 were evidently obscured by weathering and now form a single oblong depression. Theropod tracks that have undergone a similar erosional transformation are known from the Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation of Glen Rose, Texas[34] and the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation of Hanxi site, southwest China[35]. Alternatively, MLS-T2 may also be a sauropod track or tracks. When registered close together, sauropod pes and manus tracks can result in a similar merged shape, as in sauropod tracks documented in Tibet, which were considered by local folklore to be footprints of a mountain god[36]. Based on the poor preservation of MLS- T2, we are unable to infer the identity of the trackmaker.

5 Folklore

A stone tablet erected at the "Li Cunxiao Fighting tiger" site reads "It is said that Li Cunxiao, one of 13 sons of a famous governor in Tang Dynasty, was a man of unusual strength. He killed a tiger living in this mountain for people around this place. The tiger was got rid of once and for all after intense fighting. This place was marked with their footprints ever since." Li Cunxiao (858~894), once called An Jingsi, was a well-known military general in late Tang Dynasty, famous for his strength and outstanding strategy. There are many tourist attractions relating to legends surrounding Li Cunxiao. That the Malingshan site was said to be the place of battle between An Jingsi and a particularly fierce tiger is almost certainly attributable to the exposed dinosaur tracks. With the well-defined claw marks, MLS-T1a does resemble a large tiger's paw. MLS- T2 could be reasonably misinterpreted as the track of a human, and the ancients believed that Li Cunxiao was strong enough to leave footprint in stones. Thus Malingshan tracksite demonstrates another case of how dinosaur tracks influenced Chinese folklore.

6 Conclusion

The"tiger's paw traces"legend can continue with a new modification. The traces were likely made by a carnivore, most likely a theropod, but not by a tiger. This inference, based on very limited diagnostic material, is consistent with the predominance of saurischiuna (non-avian theropod and sauropod tracks in the track- rich Tianjialou Formation of the Dasheng Group. This is the 15th dinosaur tracksite reported from the Dasheng Group.

Acknowledgements: We thank Yong Ye (Zigong Dinosaur Museum, China) for his suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript.

References
[1]
Zhang Y Q, Dong S W, Shi W. Cretaceous deformation history of the middle Tan-Lu fault zone in Shandong Province, eastern China[J]. Tectonophysics, 2003, 363: 243-258. DOI:10.1016/S0040-1951(03)00039-8
[2]
Li R H, Liu M W, Lockley M G. Early Cretaceous dinosaur tracks from the Houzuoshan Dinosaur Park in Junan County, Shandong Province, China[J]. Geological Bulletin of China, 2005, 24: 277-280.
[3]
Li R H, Lockley M G, Liu M W. A new ichnotaxon of fossil bird track from the Early Cretaceous Tianjialou Formation (BarremianAlbian), Shandong Province, China[J]. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2005, 50: 1149-1154. DOI:10.1360/982004-823
[4]
Li R.H, Lockley M G, Makovicky P.J, et al. Behavioral and faunal implications of Early Cretaceous deinonychosaur trackways from China[J]. Naturwissenschaften, 2007, 95(3): 184-191.
[5]
Lockley M G, Li R, Harris J, et al. Earliest zygodactyl bird feet:evidence from Early Cretaceous Road Runner-like traces[J]. Naturwissenschaften, 2007, 94: 657-665. DOI:10.1007/s00114-007-0239-x
[6]
Lockley M G, Kim S H, Kim J Y, et al. Minisauripus-the track of a diminutive dinosaur from the Cretaceous of China and Korea:implications for stratigraphic correlation and theropod foot morphodynamics[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2008, 29: 115-130. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2007.04.003
[7]
Xing L D, Harris J D, Jia C K. Dinosaur tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Mengtuan Formation in Jiangsu, China and morphological diversity of local sauropod tracks[J]. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 2010, 49(4): 448-460.
[8]
Xing L D, Buckley L G, Lockley M G, et al. Lower Cretaceous avian tracks from Jiangsu Province, China:a first Chinese report for ichnogenus Goseongornipes (Ignotornidae)[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2018, 84: 571-577. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2017.12.016
[9]
Xing L D, Harris J D, Wang K B, et al. An Early Cretaceous Nonavian Dinosaur and Bird Footprint Assemblage from the Laiyang Group in the Zhucheng Basin, Shandong Province, China[J]. Geological Bulletin of China, 2010, 29(8): 1105-1112.
[10]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Marty D, et al. Diverse dinosaur ichnoassemblages from the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group in the Yishu fault zone, Shandong Province, China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2013, 45: 114-134. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2013.07.009
[11]
Xing L D, Marty D, Wang K B, et al. An unusual sauropod turning trackway from the Early Cretaceous of Shandong Province, China[J]. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2015, 437: 74-84. DOI:10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.036
[12]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Bonnan M F, et al. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous trackways of small-sized sauropods from China:New discoveries, ichnotaxonomy and sauropod manus morphology[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2015, 56: 470-481. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.06.014
[13]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Romilio A, et al. Diverse sauropodtheropod-dominated track assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group of Eastern China:Testing the use of drones in footprint documentation[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2018, 84: 588-599. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2017.12.012
[14]
Xing L D, Liu Y Q, Marty D, et al. Sauropod trackway reflecting an unusual walking pattern from the Early Cretaceous of Shandong Province, China[J]. Ichnos, 2017, 24(1): 27-36. DOI:10.1080/10420940.2015.1126583
[15]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Zhang J Q, et al. A diversified vertebrate ichnite fauna from the Dasheng Group (Lower Cretaceous) of southeast Shandong Province, China[J]. Historical Biology, 2019, 31(3): 353-362. DOI:10.1080/08912963.2017.1370588
[16]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Guo Y, et al. Multiple parallel deinonychosaurian trackways from a diverse dinosaur track assemblage of the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group of Shandong Province, China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2018, 90: 40-55. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2018.04.005
[17]
Xing L D, Mayor A, Chen Y, et al. The Folklore of Dinosaur Trackways in China:Impact on Paleontology[J]. Ichnos, 2011, 18(4): 213-220. DOI:10.1080/10420940.2011.634038
[18]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Yang G, et al. Tracking a legend:An Early Cretaceous sauropod trackway from Zhaojue County, Sichuan Province, southwestern China[J]. Ichnos, 2015, 22(1): 22-28. DOI:10.1080/10420940.2014.988788
[19]
Xing L D, Zhang J P, Klein H, et al. Dinosaur tracks, myths and buildings:The Jin Ji (Golden Chicken) stones from Zizhou area, northern Shaanxi, China[J]. Ichnos, 2015, 22(3/4): 227-234.
[20]
Kuang H W, Liu Y Q, Wu Q Z, et al. Dinosaur track sites and palaeogeography of the late early Cretaceous in Shuhe rifting zone of Shandong Province[J]. Journal of Palaeogeography, 2013, 15(4): 435-453.
[21]
Xu X T. Lithostratigraphy of Jiangsu Province[M]. Wuhan: China University of Geosciences Press, 1997: 1-288.
[22]
Ahrens J, Geveci B, Law C. ParaView:An End-User Tool for Large Data Visualization, Visualization Handbook[M]. Elsevier, 2005: 17.
[23]
Lockley M G, Wright J, White D, et al. The first sauropod trackways from China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2002, 23: 363-381. DOI:10.1006/cres.2002.1005
[24]
Xing L D, Harris J D, Jia C K. Dinosaur tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Mengtuan Formation in Jiangsu, China and morphological diversity of local sauropod tracks[J]. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 2010, 49(4): 448-460.
[25]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Marty D, et al. Diverse dinosaur ichnoassemblages from the Lower Cretaceous Dasheng Group in the Yishu fault zone, Shandong Province, China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2013, 45: 114-134. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2013.07.009
[26]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Bonnan M F, et al. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous trackways of small-sized sauropods from China:New discoveries, ichnotaxonomy and sauropod manus morphology[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2015, 56: 470-481. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.06.014
[27]
Lockley M G, Houck K., Yang S Y, et al. Dinosaur dominated footprint assemblages from the Cretaceous Jindong Formation, Hallayo Haesang National Park, Goseong County, South Korea:evidence and implications[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2006, 27: 70-101. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2005.10.010
[28]
Lockley M G, Li J, Xing L D, et al. Large theropod and small sauropod trackmakers from the Lower Cretaceous Jingchuan Formation, Inner Mongolia, China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2018, 92: 150-167. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2018.07.007
[29]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Zhang J P, et al. A theropod-sauropod track assemblage from the?Middle-Upper Jurassic Shedian Formation at Shuangbai, Yunnan Province, China, reflecting different sizes of trackmakers:Review and new observations[J]. Palaeoworld, 2016, 25: 84-94. DOI:10.1016/j.palwor.2015.05.003
[30]
Alexander R M. Estimates of speeds of dinosaurs[J]. Nature, 1976, 261: 129-130. DOI:10.1038/261129a0
[31]
Thulborn R A. Dinosaur Tracks[M]. London: Chapman and Hall, 1990: 1-410.
[32]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Miyashita T, et al. Large sauropod and theropod tracks from the Middle Jurassic Chuanjie Formation of Lufeng County, Yunnan Province and palaeobiogeography of the Middle Jurassic sauropod tracks from southwestern China[J]. Palaeoworld, 2014, 23: 294-303. DOI:10.1016/j.palwor.2014.04.003
[33]
Xing L D, Harris J D, Feng X, et al. Theropod (Dinosauria:Saurischia) tracks from Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation at Sihetun, Liaoning Province, China and possible track makers[J]. Geological Bulletin of China, 2009, 28(6): 705-712.
[34]
Kuban G. Elongate Dinosaur Tracks[C]//Gillette D D, Lockley M G. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989: 57-72.
[35]
Xing L D, Lockley M G, Zhang J P, et al. The longest theropod trackway from East Asia, and a diverse sauropod-, theropod-, and ornithopod-track assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation, southwest China[J]. Cretaceous Research, 2015, 56: 345-362. DOI:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.05.008
[36]
Xing L D, Harris J D, Currie P J. First Record of Dinosaur Trackway from Tibet, China[J]. Geological Bulletin of China, 2011, 30(1): 173-178.