First occurrence of footprints of large therapsids from the Upper Permian of European Russia

Mikhail V. Surkov*, Michael J. Benton, Richard J. Twitchett, Valentin P. Tverdokhlebov, Andrew J. Newell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Large footprints of terrestrial tetrapods have been found in the Cis-Urals region of European Russia. The footprint horizon is in Late Permian (Changhsingian) deposits of the Vyatkian Gorizont (uppermost Tatarian) approximately 50 m below the local Permian/Triassic boundary. Seventeen randomly orientated footprints were excavated and are referred to the ichnospecies Brontopus giganteus. The footprints were emplaced in a reddish-brown mudstone that was deposited from suspension beneath shallow ponded water in a floodplain environment. They were subsequently cast by the base of the overlying fine-grained sandstone, which was deposited from a sheet-flood event. The footprints were produced by a large therapsid, possibly a dinocephalian, but more probably a dicynodont, and represent the first ichnological record of the Therapsida from the Upper Permian of Russia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Upper Permian
  • Brontopus
  • Dicynodontia
  • ichnofossils
  • tracks
  • Russia

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