Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 70, núm. 2, 2018, p. 351 ‒ 359

The Oldest Camel Footprints from Mexico

Eduardo Jiménez-Hidalgo1,*, Rosalía Guerrero-Arenas1

1 Laboratorio de Paleobiología, Instituto de Recursos, campus Puerto Escondido, Universidad del Mar, Km 2.5, Carretera Puerto Escondido – Oaxaca, C.P. 71985, Oaxaca, Mexico.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Camel footprints have a well preserved record in Neogene strata from North America, including Mexico, however their Paleogene record is much less known. Here, we describe the oldest camel footprints from Mexico, located in the outskirts of Tezoatlán de Segura y Luna, northwestern Oaxaca, southern Mexico. The camel footprints are preserved as concave epirelief in fine-grained tuffaceous sandstone of the late Eocene-early Oligocene Huajuapan Formation. These footprints display the diagnostic features of Lamaichnum guanicoe, such as bidigital tracks with pointed anterior ends and rounded posterior ends, with digit impressions that do not converge anteriorly and footprints that have digit imprints connected. Potential track makers include Paratylopus, Paralabis and Pseudolabis. The concave axial surface and nail imprints of the Oaxacan footprints, indicate that the track makers shared some anatomical foot features with extant camels, suggesting that some characteristics of the peculiar camel foot had already evolved by the late Eocene-early Oligocene.

Keywords: Camelidae, Lamaichnum guanicoe, Eocene-Oligocene, Tezoatlán, Oaxaca, Mixteca.