The gang discusses two papers that look at trackway fossils. The first paper uses a modern study to determine how many tracks are needed to get a reasonable estimate on the trace morphology, and the second paper looks at trackways from an early tetrapod and attempts to determine the likely trace maker. Meanwhile, James has thoughts on Luigi, Amanda gives the birds the bird, Curt regrets a burn, and everyone loves Christopher Walken’s line delivery in Ripper.
Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):
Today our friends talk about people walking on ground that is wet and animals with four legs that also had a long back end part. The first paper looks at how many people need to walk on ground that is wet before it is enough people to make the numbers good. It also looks at how different kinds of ground and different types of wet also change the way things look. There actually does not need to be too many people walking on ground that is wet before the numbers are good. That means it is easier to do this with things that are not live anymore. The second paper looks at animals with four legs that were walking around a long time ago. The paper does a good job of figuring out just what those animals with four legs probably were, and about how they walked. They also had a long back end that dragged on the ground. That also tells us about how they walked. But there needs to be more stuff done on these animals with four legs and their walking marks, as well as their legs, before we know exactly what the back end marks mean.
Logghe, A., et al. "Hyloidichnus trackways with digit and tail drag traces from the Permian of Gonfaron (Var, France): New insights on the locomotion of captorhinomorph eureptiles." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 573 (2021): 110436.
Belvedere, Matteo, et al. "When is enough, enough? Questions of sampling in vertebrate ichnology." Palaeontology (2021).