Temporal range: Cretaceous
|Tyrannosauripus pillmorei, probable Tyrannosaurus footprint from Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico|
|Trace fossil classification|
Lockley & Hunt, 1994
Tyrannosauripus is an ichnogenus of dinosaur footprint. It was discovered by geologist Charles "Chuck" Pillmore in 1983 and formally described by Martin Lockley and Adrian Hunt in 1994. This fossil footprint from northern New Mexico is 86 cm long and given its Late Cretaceous age (about 66 million years old), it very likely belonged to the giant theropod dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. Similar tridactyl dinosaur tracks in North America were discovered earlier, but they were later recognized as hadrosaurid tracks. In 2007, large tyrannosaurid track was found also in eastern Montana (Hell Creek Formation). In 2016, probable fossil trackway of Tyrannosaurus rex was discovered in Wyoming (Lance Formation).
In the 1980s, palaeontologists first studied a place in Queensland called Lark Quarry. There they found three dinosaur ichnogenera. One set of tracks belongs to a small coelurosaur – Skartopus; a second belonged to a hypsilophodontid called Wintonopus; the third was of a large theropod, Tyrannosauripus.
New research made by palaeontologists from Queensland, states, that the third set of tracks did not belong to theropod at all. They say that "exists strong morphological similarity between Tyrannosauropus [sic], and iguanodontian ichnotaxon Amblydactylus gethingi".
The lead author of the research, Anthony Romilio, however believes that Lark Quarry footprints are from another ornithopod, Muttaburrasaurus langdoni, whose remains were found in Queensland. He states:
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