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Stegosaurus dinosaur track (Morrison Formation, Upper Jurassic; Colorado, USA) | by James St. John
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Stegosaurus dinosaur track (Morrison Formation, Upper Jurassic; Colorado, USA)

Stegosaurus dinosaur footprint, preserved as a convex hyporelief in sandstone from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Colorado, USA (public display, Morrison Natural History Museum, Morrison, Colorado, USA).

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Trace fossils are any indirect evidence of ancient life. They refer to features in rocks that do not represent parts of the body of a once-living organism. Traces include footprints, tracks, trails, burrows, borings, and bitemarks. Body fossils provide information about the morphology of ancient organisms, while trace fossils provide information about the behavior of ancient life forms. Interpreting trace fossils and determination of the identity of a trace maker can be straightforward (for example, a dinosaur footprint represents walking behavior) or not. Sediments that have trace fossils are said to be bioturbated. Burrowed textures in sedimentary rocks are referred to as bioturbation. Trace fossils have scientific names assigned to them, in the same style & manner as living organisms or body fossils.

 

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Taken on November 4, 2010