Ichnites in La Rabassa (range of Castelltallat)

Ichnites or fossil footprints from a big mammal of the family Suidae, likely genus Entelodon (†) that relates to the current wild boars (Sus scrofa) though much bigger after the size of the footprints and the distance between them, on a continental, light coloured sandstone from the Oligocene (≈30 M years) in the east area of Castelltallat range, near La Rabassa, in Sant Mateu de Bages. Minimum 5 footprints are seen, all them a hoof with two toes –a character of the order Artiodactyla– which diverge –a character of the family Suidae.

The position and orientation of the footprints suggest that they were engraved by one animal alone walking over the mud. Further one, this layer of mud was covered by additional sediments and, with millions of years, it turned to consolidated sandstone; that’s why the footprints are preserved. Next, the upper, softer layers were eroded and the ancient footprints discovered again as a clues from the ecosystem of the Oligocene times. The likeliness of wild boars for mud comes from long time ago!

The ichnites that were found in August 2016 by Josep Planes Vilà in La Rabassa, plus the already known ones in cal Pratbarrina and in Coaner, confirm the range of Castelltallat as a prone to beds of ichnites from mammal from Oligocene area.

[photos Josep Planes]