The palichnofauna of tetrapod vertebrates from the Upper Permian of Esterel Provence, France La palichnofaune de vertebres tetrapodes du Permien superieur de lEsterel Provence, France
Gand, G.; Demathieu, G.; Ballestra, F.
Palaeontographica, A Paläozoologie, Stratigraphie 235(4-6): 97-139
In St. Raphael, Provence, F. BALLESTRA has discovered in 1988 a large area with vertebrate footprints in the old quarry St. Sebastien. The footprints are numerous (about 600). They belong to 27 trackways oriented following three major directions. These traces have been impressed in ashes or lapilli of volcanic origin, now at the condition of rhyolitic tuffs. These tuffs are interbedded between sedimentary rocks, stratigraphically higher than those from the neighbourhood of Le Muy which have been dated from palynological data as to be Thuringian. Anthichnium salamandroides and Limnopus sp. were impressed by small Temnospondyls, Varanopus rigidus, Tambachichnium schmidti by respectively Captorhinomorphs and Lepidosaurs. The other taxons were till now not known from the Permian. Amongst these new taxons, three new ichnogenera are erected: Planipes, Lunaepes and Pseudosynaptichnium. The numerous Chelichnus traces are represented by the new ichnospecies incurvus. Difficulties occur when one attempts to attribute footprints to osteological taxons. It is likely that the tracemakers of the new ichnospecies Planipes caudatus, Lunaepes fragilis and Chelichnus incurvus might be Therapsids. Those of P. caudatus and C. incurvus might be respectively Titanosuchids and Dicynodonts. The tracemakers of L. fragilis remain undetermined. The animals which impressed Pseudosynaptichnium esterelense nov. ichnosp. possess front and hind limbs constructed on the same plan like those of the Protorosaurians. Comparison between the footprint association of St. Raphael and those known from other parts of the world shows that the principal common features occur with the ichnofauna of the higher part of terrestrial Permian of France, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy. According to the present repartition of the ichnopopulations, the French association could be stratigraphically located between the vertebrate trace layers of Cornberg (Germany) and these of Val Gardena (Italy, Southern Tyrol).