A dicynodont trackway from the Cistecephalus Assemblage Zone in the Karoo, East of Graaff-Reinet, South Africa

de Klerk, William J
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
This paper reports a partially exposed late Permian palaeosurface with preserved vertebrate tracks at the "Asante Sana" private game reserve in the vicinity of Petersburg, 46km east of Graaff-Reinet. Excavation of the palaeosurface over an area of 34m2 revealed clear footprints and trackways of six large tetrapods that walked in a westerly direction across a semi-consolidated muddy substrate in the distal floodplain area of a large fluvial system. Clear heteropodous impressions of the footpads and individual toes and claws are preserved as concave epirelief moulds. It is concluded that these fossil tracks were made by a group of therapsids, specifically a group of large dicynodonts, possibly Aulacephalodon. The tracks are here assigned to the ichnospecies Dicynodontipus icelsi sp. nov. A continuous trackway and numerous less distinct individual prints and markings made by smaller tetrapods are also preserved on the palaeosurface. It is probable that these tracks were left by Diictodon, a small common dicynodont of the time.
Karoo Basin, palaeoichnology, Late Permian, footprints, trackways, therapsid, dicynodont, Dicynodontipus icelsi, Aulacephaladon, Diictidon