Synaptichnium tracks from the middle Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic, Anisian) Bernburg site (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)

Lorenzo Marchetti, Hendrik Klein, Daniel Falk, Oliver Wings


The Solvey Quarry of Bernburg is one of the most important ichnosites from the Muschelkalk of the Germanic Basin. Extensive surfaces with long chirotheriid trackways have been discovered and assigned to Chirotherium and Isochirotherium. Some undescribed step cycles from this site are analysed here and assigned to Synaptichnium isp. These footprints belong to a “thick-digit” Synaptichnium morphotype recognised at several Middle Triassic sites of Pangaea that seems to differ from the currently valid Synaptichnium ichnospecies. This is the first occurrence of Synaptichnium from this site and the only including step cycles one from the track-bearing Muschelkalk successions of N Germany and the Netherlands. A comparison between the tetrapod ichnoassociations of marginal marine and alluvial units of the Muschelkalk of the Germanic Basin reveals a similar ichnofaunal composition but different relative proportions between ichnotaxa. Rhynchosauroides and Procolophonichnium occur more often in tidal units, whereas the alluvial units show a higher abundance of chirotheriid tracks and an overall greater track diversity.

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