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Another BBC related error WinkWink

It could be possible that the specimen has floated down shore from another location,  such as Hastings, although this is unlikely.
fossils, in a big world
fossils, in a big world
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Gary W


Apparently a new dinosaur footprint has been discovered at Folkestone.
 
I must admit I am sceptical as footprints do not come from the Greensand Beds
 
What do others think?
Gary
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Kosmoceras


I too am sceptical. I thought the greensand was a marine deposit - " deeply eroded surface forming a shallow, tidal seaway". This does not sound like ideal conditions for preserving footprints to me but I hope I am wrong.

 

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Neovenator12
Seems rather strange considering Folkestone's geology. I thought the Gault/Greensand weren't inter tidal at any stage (Then no dinos can walk there then let alone leave tracks). We'll have to wait and see.
theunofficialfossilrecord.blogspot.co.uk-new discoveries, and Palaeontology in general!
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Naze Dave
It doesn't particularly look like one either to be honest.
Thanks
Dave
Still Life
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AMARSH
The article also says that the footprint has been sent to the NHM for identification (good luck with that LOL, they'll be waiting a lonnnggg time LOL) - you'd think they would have the find verified before the BBC wrote their article?!?
Andrew Marsh
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Parkinsonia
Least convincing dino footprint I've ever seen! The cynic in me thinks it just a rock that they've used as publicity for the event!
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Phileas fossilis
If you actually read the article it quite clearly gives a quote from Dr Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum confirming them as footprints so I would not argue with that. And trace fossils found in the same layer made by cretaceous bubbler crabs clearly indicate a tidal environment in this level of the greensand. There are also past papers describing the evidence of sand dunes in the Lower Greensand formation. Visit the site and see for yourselves.
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Kosmoceras


I would not trust everything the experts say. I have seen folk at the NHM identify a lobster leg imprint from the chalk as an echinoid spine imprint.
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Phileas fossilis
Exactly even experts can be wrong sometimes. That's science! But if I had to choose between a PHD from the NHM and someone anonymous I know who I would believe. You don't get a job at the NHM for nothing.
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gigantopithicus

 I would also say, having read Paul's comment, he noticably avoids talking about the "footprint". His quote more talks about the age of it - as opposed to whether it is or isn't a print.

He also avoids the point of it being a two toed dinosaur, which would be one of the more important factors.

To be honest, it will have to be accepted that most will not believe these to be genuine. Without marks of pads or claws a footcast is always dubious, especially as these would be the first from that area, and as others have pointed out, in dinosaur terms deep water conditions (and the type localities for the Greensand indicate rough conditions).

I would have expected something a little more convincing for this amount of media coverage.


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Phileas fossilis
Sorry you are wrong

here is the quote from Paul on the BBC site.

Dr Paul Barratt, a dinosaur researcher at the museum, said: "These
footprints are interesting because they are quite late occurring and
they may turn out to be some of the latest dinosaurs to have been found
in the UK."

The trace fossils also indicate shallow tidal conditions prevailed at some time. Conditions and sea level could have changed numerous times. To describe the lower Greensand and simply 'marine' is misleading. Furthermore the Greensand/gault junction bed is almost entirely filled with fossil wood

There is also another tridactyl print.
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gigantopithicus

This may be a case of seeing what we want to, but does that quote not cover exactly what I said? Without flatout denying they are prints (which you wouldn't do with the press) he completely avoids the idea of them being a print.

What evidence is there of them being prints? There are no pad marks, there are no claw marks, and the stratigraphy is incorrect. The only thing really going for them is the age.

Even in the shallowest units of the Lwr. Greensand, there is strong evidence of strong currents etc. The shallowest units ie. Perna Bed Mbr. are dominated by heavily broken mollusc material, with units higher up being full of ammonites etc.

As for trace fossils, there is as much evidence for this being a large Thallasinoides as there is footprint.

Please though, what is everyone missing? Other than a rough possible shape, what other evidence is there of these being prints?


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Phileas fossilis

There are numerous different facies present in the Lwr Greensand formation at various localities. Locally these are known as the Folkestone beds. There are Journal articles from the Geological Society describing evidence of reworked sand dunes one of which I have referred to my peer reviewed and published paper. The point about the sand balls is also an important line of evidence that there were tidal conditions.

They are referred to as footprints in the comment. Sadly not as well preserved as one you might see at other localities.

I have thought about thalassinoides. I have a degree in geology so I do know what I am talking about. If an expert as esteemed as Dr Paul says that they are not and can provide a feasable alternative explanation I would probably accept that. The tridactyl print posted previously is about as good as you can get for a dinosaur footprint

Thanks

Edited by Phileas fossilis 2013-06-01 00:12:22
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Olenus
Im sure Dino footprints have been found in marine deposit, i think it was in the Oolite formation. Which was shallow waters.

Lee

The Ace of Spades,,,







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Phileas fossilis
I guess it depends on what you define as 'marine'. Tidal flats are essentially marine and you would expect to see some preservation of traces made by habitually terrestrial organisms opportunistically feeding there at low tide.
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Parkinsonia
Am I missing something here? The article talks about a footprint, singular, yet people here are referring to them, plural. If there have been found a succession of these in spatially correct order for footprints I'll accept they are, otherwise if it is just the one, I still think it's just a rock. As for experts, spent my working life on science with experts, they are not gods, they are fallible human beings so please Phileas fossils, climb down off your high horse, you're coming across as pompous particularly when, in relation to dinosaur footprints, I a degree in palaeontology, not geology, would be a more sound basis for someone declaring that they know what they are talking about.
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Phileas fossilis
That's a little unfair i think. I am not being pompous. I am sorry that you feel that. I am merely pointing out my observations. Even I have not 100% committed to the footprints ideas (there is a ? mark in the title of my paper. I'm not saying I know it all as no one does. I have a masters in palaeobiology too but the geological context is just as important. More work needs to be done.
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Phileas fossilis
Fig_4a.jpg 
This is the other footcast. Not a great picture i'm afraid




Edited by Phileas fossilis 2013-06-01 09:08:53
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Phileas fossilis

The bbc report does not tell the whole story I'm afraid. There is more than one 'footprint' and this is the tridactyl one.

tridactyl.jpg 



Edited by Phileas fossilis 2013-06-01 09:05:58
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fossils-uk
Photos of any other footprints you have would help people I think. Also if these are being found ex situ that would worry me... But if you have found them insitu so that you could actively study the beds they came from that would help. Finding a lump of rock on the beach and saying it definitely came from x bed would not cut the mustard with most academics... But if you could analysis the rocks chemistry and compare it to where you think it must come from then this would tie things together. 
Honestly I too was unaware that Folkestone had intertidal or deltaic rocks out cropping. 
There are many papers written on footprints from the North Yorkshire coast that will probably give. You a wealth of knowledge and techniques to apply to your footprints that would help determine if this is.  Sadly just from the two toed thing not convince myself but if you have others you could show? I have seen many pieces of sandstone rocks that mimic this appearance but these are not dinosaur footprints. 
I read an article about cross sectioning a dingo print to show the internal sedimentary displacement within the stone.... This might be worth considering with this. If the sediments are uniform through out I would say no to the dinosaur theory but if there is deformation features and displacement features seen with in then yes dinoprint. Like I said lots of papers on North Yorkshire dinoprints where they have done this.
Hope this helps
Byron


fossils-uk, whitby
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Phileas fossilis
Thanks Byron I like those suggestions.




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Parkinsonia
I didn't say you ARE pompous, I said that's how you were coming over. When anyone says 'I know what I'm talking about because...' or 'you are wrong', rather than 'I think you're wrong/I don't agree' over something with equivocal authenticity (which you yourself admit) it sounds pompous and/or arrogant. The tridactyl footprint though, is superb, it would be hard to doubt that.
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Phileas fossilis
Here are the 'prints' that were initially observed. The casts were found within 10 square yards. The repetition of the shape is what I noticed and initially dismissed as concidence but on discussion with a well know dinosaur expert it was confirmed they could be footprints

prints.jpg 

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Phileas fossilis
Thanks. It's a shame it wasnt featured fully on the BBC. Sorry its the trouble with forums things don't always come across how you think initially.

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gigantopithicus

I have read your article, and also am quite aware of the geology of the Greensand - none of the units are good for the preservation of prints/casts.

Peer reviewed papers mean very little - take your reference to Samrukia - does that hold any bearings now?

Even if you were to overlook the geology, the print itself is very unconvincing. The only group known to commonly leave two toed prints are the dromaeosaurs, and even then you still often see a mark from the third claw. If you were to compare that to a dromaeosaur print the gait between the toes is pretty high, lending more towards ornithopods.

As I said, in the future, these may well be considered prints, however for this to be widely accepted as a first you would need to see claw or pad marks, neither of which are present here.

Also, with regards to qualifications etc. most on here have some form of formal training along with an awful lot of experience - personally I gained a diploma in palaeo and an Msci, and 15 years collecting.


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Phileas fossilis
I agree none of the units are good for preservation as there are no substantial mudstone layers like at other footprint sites but we are 99.9% certain there was a tidal environment which as you know has potential for footprints.

I'd recommend going down there and take a look at the trace fossils they are actually quite spectacular.  With regard to the casts not being in situ one of them shows preservation of the same 'crab ball' which pretty closely ties it to the layer mentioned.

In the future closer analysis may be needed but better prints or even small trackways may be found of a quality similar to the the tridactyl print and probably not by me.
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Gary W


My word what a debate I have started.   All I can say is that I am very sceptical they are prints.  On many occasions I have seen structures that may look like prints but are burrow infillings or geological structures. 
 
Gary
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gigantopithicus
It's been a while since the first press burst on this, has anything more come up since? I've done a google and couldn't find anything but people here might know more?

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denis 1
Sandstone samples lower  Greensand  dino foot prints 2.jpg  Sandstone sample Lower Greensand  dino foot prints.jpg 
Windblown and surf zone sands are well-rounded as the above samples show.
Collected from The Warren Folkestone.

Photos above, x450 mag.
Iggy.jpg 
Only Me
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Phileas fossilis
Just thought I would add this link to round off the thread nicely. More proof of dinosaur tracks at Folkestone found by my friend and former skeptic Steve. If you want more proof you will have to buy my book! or just visit the museum to see this track, and then maybe buy my book 😉
https://localrags.co.uk/index.php/2018/1/10/dramatic-discovery-of-rare-dinosaur-footprint-to-go-on-show-at-folkestone-museum/
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