Evidence of an Early Triassic age (Olenekian) in Argana Basin (High Atlas, Morocco) based on new chirotherioid traces

Abdelilah TOURANI, Naima BENAOUISS, Georges GAND, Sylvie BOURQUIN, Nour-Eddine JALIL, Jean BROUTIN, Bernard BATTAIL, Damien GERMAIN, Fatima KHALDOUNE, Soumaya SEBBAN, Jean-Sébastien STEYER & Renaud VACANT

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 9 (5) - Pages 201-208

Published on 31 August 2010

New chirotherioid traces (Synaptichnium, Chirotherium, Brachychirotherium, Isochirotherium), are described in the Argana Basin (High Atlas of Morocco). Seeing that these ichnotaxa are frequent in the Triassic, their occurrence in outcrops formerly mapped as Permian (T2 Member) has required detailed sedimentological and paleontological studies of the fossiliferous site. These studies clearly show that the ichnite-bearing strata belong actually to the T3 Member of the “regional Triassic”, i.e. lower member of the Timezgadiwine Formation, the age of which was, in fact, unknown up to now. The description of these ichnospecies and their statistical comparison with those of other Early and Middle Triassic areas, suggest an Olenekian age for this footprint site, and consequently for the T3. The trackmakers were Archosauriformes, some of which had autopodia less evolved than those of Anisian age. With Lepidosauria, they lived in a floodplain close to alluvial - fans.


Morocco, Argana Basin, Early Triassic, Olenekian, Chirotherioid footprints, Archosauriformes, Lepidosauria

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