Located in Iron County, Utah, the Parowan Gap dinosaur track site contains over one hundred natural casts of non-avian dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstones and siltstones of the Late Cretaceous (≈83 Ma) Iron Springs Formation. For this study, the authors returned to the area to survey for and describe previously unidentified tracks. Many tracks from this new study occur as in situ casts found on the basal surfaces of sandstones deposited by braided and meandering rivers on the coastal plain of the Western Interior Seaway, with some specimens from fallen talus blocks. Over the course of two years, the research team identified and recorded a total of 31 specimens. The results comprise tracks that resemble a minimum of at least five ichnotaxa including Caririchnium, Amblydactylus, Ceratopsipes, Magnoavipes, and Dromaeosauripus. The most common and well-recognized ichnogenus recorded in the Iron Springs Formation is Caririchnium, which likely represents ornithopod dinosaurs. We also identified two Ceratopsipes tracks in a fallen sandstone block. The pair of tracks are significant because they are the second set from the ichnotaxa found at Parowan Gap. Together the Parowan Gap Ceratopsipes samples represent the oldest ceratopsian tracks in Utah. The potential Dromaeosauripus specimen represents a small theropod dinosaur. This specimen is of great interest because theropod tracks, especially dromaeosaur tracks, are less common in the Iron Springs Formation, with a total of seven tracks reported from previous studies. If this is an appropriate interpretation, it would make the potential Dromaeosauripus track the youngest dromaeosaur trace fossil in Utah.
Crowell, Jennifer K. and Shimer, Grant T.
"Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks from the Iron Springs Formation, Iron County, Utah,"
The Compass: Earth Science Journal of Sigma Gamma Epsilon:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/compass/vol91/iss1/1