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Selected studies on terrestrial vertebrate palaeoichnology of western Canada

  • Author / Creator
    McCrea, Richard T.
  • The past quarter century has seen a marked increase in the recognition of fossil vertebrate tracksites in western Canada, primarily in Alberta and British Columbia. Notable new finds include the first record of sauropods in Canada, evidence of herding behavior in tyrannosaurs and ankylosaurs, multiple avian track sites nearly spanning the entire Cretaceous Period, and recognition and description of pathologies from footprints. First discoveries of track specimens from several formations in western Canada include the Mountain Park Member of the Gates Formation in Alberta, and the Boulder Creek, Goodrich, Kaskapau, Cardium and Marshybank formations in northeastern British Columbia. Significant finds continue to be made in the Wapiti Formation in western Alberta near Grande Cache and in northeastern British Columbia. Tracks are virtually unknown from pre-Cretaceous rocks in western Canada, with the only possible exception being the last stage of the Jurassic (Tithonian). The majority of the oldest tracksites are found in and around the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, whereas the younger tracksites are found in the Foothills and Plains of both British Columbia and Alberta. The record of fossil vertebrate tracks in western Canada is important for filling the temporal gaps in known occurrences of terrestrial vertebrates left by a sparse skeletal record. Fossil tracks and trackways can also be used to interpret the behavior, biomechanics and ecology of extinct animals in ways not possible to realize solely from the study of skeletal remains.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2016-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3SJ1B01H
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Philip J. Currie - Department of Biological Sciences
    • Dr. S. George Permberton - Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Tom Chacko - Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
    • Dr. Murray Gingras - Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
    • Dr. David Eberth - Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
    • Dr. Alison Murray - Department of Biological Sciences