Common Name: Grallator varaibilis (unknown predatory dinosaur, possible Coelophysis type)
Geologic Era: Lower Jurassic (200 million years old)
Location Discovered: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Size: Unknown, probably relatively small
Estimated Range: Unknown
Extinction Date: 196 million years ago (assuming species identification of Coelophysis type animal)
This track specimen is very unique in that it appears to have captured the imprints of two individuals. It is possible the same individual made both tracks, but the orientation makes it unlikely.
“Grallator” itself is not a true species name; rather, it describes a particular type of track that is sometimes found. This type of track usually presents with three distinct toes, a common trait with predatory dinosaurs. Our track sample is probably the same type of animal, but two individuals.
The area of France where these tracks were recovered was low-lying coastal land when these tracks were made, roughly 200 million years ago. Such an area would have been ideal for scavengers or predators.
Comparison with human: “Coelophysis size” by Petrified Forest from Petrified Forest, USA – Coelophysis bauriUploaded by FunkMonk. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coelophysis_size.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Coelophysis_size.jpg
Grallator Track photo taken by Hilary Sifling