Sunday, 3 August 2014

An ankylosaur trackway destroyed in Pula

I have just returned from a trip to Pula. It is sad, but a few of my photographs is the only thing that has remained of the first ankylosaur trackway in Pula, Croatia (the Adriatic-Dinaridic carbonate platform). I had discovered the tracks in 2011 and I didn't even manage to write the paper. The trackway, which was situated at one of the most frequented beaches in Pula has been covered with a thick layer of concrete for sunbathing. There are more tracks on that particular beach, but just one trackway that runs parallel to this one was preserved enough for research to be conducted. I fear that one is going to be destroyed as well in order to make the beach more comfortable for the numerous tourists. A few years ago I tried to warn the government institution State Institute for Nature Protection about the valuable, numerous trace fossils that are in the danger of being damaged or destroyed, but in vain. This isn't the first case of this kind either. Recently, the theropod trackways have been destroyed and damaged out of ignorance and negligence in Lovrecica, Istria, Croatia. News coverage of that event. That Lovrecica tracksite was even described in a scientific paper and should have been protected.
It is ironic, but I am probably the only person aware of this latest loss.
The "fossil of the fossil"- my photograph of irreversibly lost valuable piece of palaeontological natural heritage in Pula:

Latest news (August 2014): good ones (for now)!
Recently, I've visited this site and discovered that the concrete missed these two tracks (in the photo above) for about a meter. They are still there, but were covered with a muddy water. That's why I didn't see them during my previous visit.


  1. I find it amazing that there was no attempt to preserve this important site, or at least an attempt to cut out and remove the trackways before laying the concrete. It is sad that the comfort and convenience of tourists took precidence over the scientific value.

    1. The fact is that these tracks didn't exist officially. They were not confirmed nor recorded by the official institutions. Although, I have informed and warned them a few years ago. The same goes for the rest of the tracks on the beaches of Pula and many other places in Istria. There is no consistent protection of these sites.