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Article: Giant Eocene bird footprints from Northwest Washington, USA

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 55
Part: 6
Publication Date: November 2012
Page(s): 1293 1305
Author(s): George E. Mustoe, David S. Tucker and Keith L. Kemplin
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How to Cite

MUSTOE, G. E., TUCKER, D. S., KEMPLIN, K. L. 2012. Giant Eocene bird footprints from Northwest Washington, USA. Palaeontology55, 6, 1293–1305.

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Tridactyl bird footprints preserved in Lower Eocene sandstone of the Chuckanut Formation in Whatcom County, Washington, USA, were made by a species of giant ground bird that walked along the subtropical lowland riverbank. The morphology and age of the tracks suggest the track maker was Diatryma (? = Gastornis). Although these birds have long been considered to be predators or scavengers, the absence of raptor-like claws supports earlier suggestions that they were herbivores. The Chuckanut tracks are herein named as Rivavipes giganteus ichnogenus and ichnospecies nov., inferred to belong to the extinct family Gastornithidae.

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