First known fossil bird tracks (Pleistocene) on San Salvador island, Bahamas

Authors

  • A. J. MARTIN Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia 30322 USA.
  • M. H. WHITTEN department of Environmental Sciences, Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia 30322 USA.

Keywords:

Bahamas, Birds, Ichnology, Pleistocene, Trace fossils

Abstract

Two avian footprints discovered in the Grotto Beach Formation (Pleistocene) of San Salvador Island (Bahamas) are the first known vertebrate trace fossils on this well-studied island. The trace fossils, preserved as beddingplane impressions in an oolitic-bioclastic grainstone, match the size and form of tracks made by modern gulls. The tracks are in beach facies located below a paleosol dated from Marine Isotope Substage 5e (~120,000kya). These tracks add to a record of Pleistocene bird tracks reported from Eleuthera Island and bode well for the recognition of more vertebrate trace fossils on San Salvador and other Bahamian islands.

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Published

2015-03-26

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Section

Articles