Skip to comments.Fossil tracks record 'oldest land-walkers'
Posted on 01/07/2010 8:51:50 AM PST by JoeProBono
The oldest evidence of four-legged animals walking on land has been discovered in southeast Poland.
Rocks from a disused quarry record the "footprints" of unknown creatures that lived about 397 million years ago.
Scientists tell the journal Nature that the fossil trackways even retain the impressions left by the "toes" on the animals' feet.
The team says the find means that land vertebrates appeared millions of years earlier than previously supposed.
"This place has yielded what I consider to be some of the most exciting fossils I've ever encountered in my career as a palaeontologist," said team member Per Ahlberg from Uppsala University, Sweden.
"[They are] fossil of footprints that give us the earliest record of how our very distant ancestors moved out of the water and moved on to the land and took their first steps."
Numerous trackways have been identified in the Zachelmie Quarry in the Holy Cross Mountains.
They represent the movements of many animals as they scurried around what would have been a tropical muddy shoreline in the Middle Devonian Period of Earth history.
Slabs of carbonate rock are dappled with prints that range in size and detail.
Some indentations are obscured where successive animals have trampled over the same patch of ground; but others retain exquisite features of the pads and digits that made them.
The animals were probably crocodile-like in appearance and lived an amphibian-like existence (although those specific animal forms did not appear until many millions of years later)......
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
How one of the Devonian animals might have made the tracks
Inserting “it was done by a confused pollack” comment early...
Lived on a farm in Ohio when I was little. The creek was layers of flat rock. You could walk along and see/walk in human tracks that were right beside horse and dog tracks. A little farther, where the rock had worn down to another layer, dinosaur tracks. There were all kinds. One that I remember in particular looked like old time tractor tire tracks—kind of an offset v shape. They were big and deep, each half of the v prob 8-10 inches long and 2-3 deep. Great fun for a youngster to “duck walk” in!
Yeah, except ours were clearer, and jsut had 2 toes. Must have been a pass through a swamp or something for ages, b/c there were all kinds of fossilized tracks. The different layers were really neat.
Discovered in southeast Poland.You know the next story will be rock is from Africa slid to Poland via ice age shifting.
My Grandpa...suggested I take it to the local museum...and I did. The deal was it was on loan to them...from me.
Years later I went back to the museum...and wanted to look at my "tooth" again. It was gone!
The curator stole it..I'm sure of it. He was fired later for other problems..but never charged.
Dat’s a big turkey track!
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Joe, is that a picture of dinosaur ridge in Colorado?
There must be a photo of Helen Thomas making tracks somewhere.
Great place to visit, especially with kids. It’s outside of Denver just off I-70, so super easy to get to. It’s on what we call the “Hogback” which is part of the Dakota Hogback, raised during the Laramide Orogeny. It’s cool to hike along the road cut for I-70 because you see all the sediment layers that were turned up when the mountains punched through.
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