William A. S. Sarjeant


Fossil vertebrate footprints were first scientifically reported from Scotland in the 1820's, the earliest work on their experimental simulation being undertaken in England. Discoveries in Germany in the 1840's heralded a widening of knowledge and caused prolonged controversy concerning the identity of the trackmakers, only resolved 120 years later. Footprints are of value today as evidence for the existence of animals unknown from osteological remains and for the direct information they provide concerning the behaviour of long-extinct vertebrates- in particular, their gait and their social behavior.KEY WORDS. Vertebrate footprints. history of study. Chirotherium. biostratigraphy. palaeoecology. behaviour. 


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