Empreintes de pas de reptiles au Pic des Merveilles dans le Permien du massif du Mont-Bego (Alpes-Maritimes)

Pascal BARRIER, Christian MONTENAT & Henry de LUMLEY

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 8 (1) - Pages 67-78

Published on 28 February 2009

Vertebrate footprints at the Pic des Merveilles from the Permian of the Mont-Bego massif (Alpes–Maritimes, France)

The Permian formations outcropping on the southern side of the Mercantour massif (Barrot dome; Mont-Bego and the Vallée des Merveilles) have not, up until now, yielded vertebrate footprints, unlike other southern French regions (Lodévois, Provence). However, this has now changed. Discoveries have been made, first on loose blocks and then in stratigraphy (upper part of the Meraviglie or Merveilles formation), during a geological survey in the national Mercantour Park. These footprints belong to the same ichnite type, Varanopus curvidactylus Monodi, 1929. Nonetheless, this attribution needs to be confirmed by subsequent footprint discoveries. Despite unfavourable outcropping conditions and often intense tectonic deformation (fracturation, beginning of schistosity, network of quartzous vein, occasionally with epidote), the traces and the associated sedimentary features (current ripples, mudcracks, raindrop imprints, cyanobacterial mats, annelid bioturbations) allow us to correlate the depositional environment of the upper Meraviglie terrigenous formation with a deltaic lower flood plain of a lakeshore.


Permian, Ichnology, Footprints, Reptile, Vallée des Merveilles, Mercantour, France

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