DÍAZ MARTÍNEZ Ignacio
A reappraisal of theMiddle Triassic chirotheriid Chirotherium ibericus Nav´as, 1906 (Iberian Range NE Spain), with comments on the Triassic tetrapod track biochronology of the Iberian Peninsula
IGNACIO DÍAZ MARTÍNEZ; DIEGO CASTANERA; JOSÉ MANUEL GASCA; JOSÉ IGNACIO CANUDO
Triassic vertebrate tracks are known from the beginning of the 19th century and have a worldwide distribution. Several Triassic track ichnoassemblages and ichnotaxa have a restricted stratigraphic range and are useful in biochronology and biostratigraphy. The record of Triassic tracks in the Iberian Peninsula has gone almost unnoticed although more than 25 localities have been described since 1897. In one of these localities, the naturalist Longinos Navás described the ichnotaxon Chirotherium ibericus in 1906.The vertebrate tracks are in two sandy slabs from the Anisian (Middle Triassic) of the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, Spain). In a recent revision, new, previously undescribed vertebrate tracks have been identified. The tracks considered to be C. ibericus as well as other tracks with the same morphology from both slabs have been classified as Chirotherium barthii. The rest of the tracks have been assigned to Chirotheriidae indet., Rhynchosauroides isp. and undetermined material. This new identification of C. barthii at the Navás site adds new data to the Iberian record of this ichnotaxon, which is characterized by the small size of the tracks when compared with the main occurrences of this ichnotaxon elsewhere. As at the Navás tracksite, the Anisian C. barthii-Rhynchosauroides ichnoassemblage has been found in other coeval localities in Iberia and worldwide. This ichnoassemblage belongs to the upper Olenekian-lower Anisian interval according to previous biochronological proposals. Analysis of the Triassic Iberian record of tetrapod tracks is uneven in terms of abundance over time. From the earliest Triassic to the latest Lower Triassic the record is very scarce, with Rhynchosauroides being the only known ichnotaxon. Rhynchosauroides covers a wide temporal range and gives poor information for biochronology. The record from the uppermost Lower Triassic to the Middle Triassic is abundant. The highest ichnodiversity has been reported for the Anisian with an assemblage composed of Dicynodontipus, Procolophonichnium, Rhynchosauroides, Rotodactylus, Chirotherium, Isochirotherium, Coelurosaurichnus and Paratrisauropus. The Iberian track record from the Anisian is coherent with the global biochronology proposed for Triassic tetrapod tracks. Nevertheless, the scarcity of track occurrences during the late Olenekian and Ladinian prevents analysis of the corresponding biochrons. Finally, although the Iberian record for the Upper Triassic is not abundant, the presence of Eubrontes, Anchisauripus and probably Brachychirotherium is coherent with the global track biochronology as well. Thus, the Triassic track record in the Iberian Peninsula matches the expected record for this age on the basis of a global biochronological approach, supporting the idea that vertebrate Triassic tracks are a useful tool in biochronology.