Early Triassic Archosaur-dominated Footprint Assemblage from Morocco

Klein, H., Voigt, S., Hminna, A., Saber, H., Schneider, J., and D. Hmich. 2010. Early Triassic Archosaur-Dominated Footprint Assemblage from the Argana Basin (Western High Atlas, Morocco). Ichnos 17:1–13. DOI: 10.1080/10420940.2010.510030 

Abstract - An assemblage of abundant and well-preserved tetrapod footprints has been discovered in the Tanamert Member (T3) of the Triassic Timezgadiouine Formation (Argana basin, western High Atlas, Morocco). It is the first fossil record from T3. Surfaces from different localities show a uniform tetrapod ichnofauna that consists of chirotherian and small lacertoid forms. The chirotherians are assigned to the plexus ProtochirotheriumSynaptichnium, their trackmakers interpreted as basal archosaurs. The lacertoid imprints show close affinities with Rhynchosauroides and may reflect archosauromorphs or lepidosauromorphs. Protochirotherium—Synaptichnium assemblages are characteristic of the Early Triassic and were known previously only from units of this age in central Europe. Biostratigraphically, the European record implies a wide-spread pre-Anisian Protochirotherium—Synaptichnium dominated assemblage preceding the first appearance of Chirotherium barthii near the Olenekian-
Anisian boundary. The stratigraphic position of T3 between Late Permian (uppermost T2) and Middle Triassic (T4) and the European correlatives suggest an Early Triassic age of this unit. It is the first record of Early Triassic continental deposits in Morocco. The surfaces from T3 open up perspectives for further contributions to ecology, biogeography and locomotion of early archosaurs. Furthermore, excellent outcrops and quality of footprint preservation in the Argana basin offer a potential for clarification of ichnotaxonomic and biostratigraphic issues.


  1. "our twice-postponed whale watching cruise was finally able"
    The best Australia’s guaranteed whale watch cruise list is there… www.whalewatchingcruises.net.au

  2. Hi,

    Well, I am online and trying to find that Ichnos article. It does not appear on the Ichnos web site. Its in vol. 17, but what issue is it in? Only 1 & 2 are listed on the Ichnos web site. Our library does not subscribe to physical copies, so I am cobbled.

    However, I am very familiar with the stratigraphy of the Argana basin an T3 is defined as a basal conglomerate of the Timesgadouine Formation, so I don't quite understand the track site can be in that unit! But actually being able to read the article would be helpful.

  3. Realy it's a very great and interesting discovery, congratulation for all this team Moroccan-German.
    Early triassic deposits in Argana-Morocco? It's the first!!. Realy new for science. Good success in the futur for you Mr Klein, Voigt, Hminna, Saber, Schneider and Hmich.

    T. Nizdar


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="http://www.fieldofscience.com/">FoS</a> = FoS