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Nasrollah Abbassi

Abbassi, N., Karim, K.H., Mohialdeen, I.M.J. and Sharbazheri, K.H. 
Vertebrate footprints and a mammal mud-bath trace fossil (Laspichnia) from the Mukdadiya Formation (Late Miocene–Pliocene), Chamchamal Area, Kurdistan Region, Northeast Iraq

The Mukdadiya Formation (Late Miocene–Pliocene) consists of alternations of red to brown sandstone and claystone layers in the Zagros Mountains Belt, northeastern Iraq. Two tracksites preserving bird and mammal tracks were recorded from the base of the formation in the Chamchamal area of the Kurdistan region in northeast Iraq. Avian tracks are large footprints with an average length of 25cm that belong to Avipeda filiportatis. Mammal footprints imprinted by terrestrial cetartiodactyls belong to Pecoripeda amalphaea and Bifidipes velox, with cervids the most likely track makers. An unfamiliar large trace fossil on the studied slab, has symmetrical to asymmetrical marks, kidney or number-8-shaped and strong wrinkles on the surface. We interpret trace as having been produced by cetartiodactyls wallowing on the soft sediment surface. To accommodate this class of behavioral trace fossils; thus, we introduce a new fossilized behavior class, named “Laspichnia”, which includes a vertebrate mud-bathing imprint on a soft sediment surface.



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