Article: A Middle Jurassic dinosaur trackway site from Oxfordshire, UK
The Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) Ardley trackway site in Oxfordshire, UK is described in detail. The track site is extensive, containing over 40 more-or-less continuous theropod and sauropod trackways preserved together on a single bedding plane with some trackways up to 180 m in length. The trackways display reasonable preservation, with claw marks discernible. Sauropod trackways are by far the most abundant and are representative of taxa that exhibit both narrow and wide-gauge styles of locomotion. Theropod trackways are represented by large tridactyl prints and claw impressions that display exceptionally low pace angulation values during their walking phase. One theropod trackway is unique in that it reveals a gait transition associated with a temporary increase of speed. These dinosaurs were walking over a lime-mud firmground to hardground that was emergent, or locally very shallowly submerged. GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) data reveal that the tracks, preserved during a short time interval, trend in a north-easterly direction. Multi-herding behaviour is suggested for the sauropods of differing size. The discovery of this site adds significantly to our knowledge of the taxonomic composition of Middle Jurassic ecosystems. Evidence concerning locomotor styles employed by saurischian dinosaurs, footprint identification, potential trackmaker, social interactions and observations concerning estimates of Middle Jurassic faunal diversity, as well as aspects of dinosaur locomotor evolution are discussed.