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Tracking a “Prehistoric Pompeii” , Rhinoland and Crocodilia: New Discoveries And Interpretations Of Ipolytarnóc (N Hungary) Lower Miocene Track Site



 The transnational Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark situated in Northern Hungary and Southern Slovakia has several important Neogene fossil sites developed for geotourism. One of them is the lower Miocene paleontological locality complex at Ipolytarnóc , which has been well known since the middle of the 19th century. The site is the main geotouristic gateway to the geopark, where high-tech interpretation resources explain the geological background and fossil resources to visitors, like the rich shark-tooth-bearing intertidal sandstone, the terrestrial sandstone and rhyolite tuff containing a petrified forest and leaves, and the great number of animal tracks in a relatively small area. Since 2015, the authors have identified several thousand footprints and body impressions, including new fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal ichnotaxa, among others. Re-interpretation of the paleohabitats identifies interfingering terrestrial (Rhinoland) and intertidal pool (Crocodilia) landscapes. Similar track assemblages of similar age indicate intensive tectonic uplift and fluviatile-lacustrine sediment accumulations in the Western, Central and Eastern Paratethys forced by Neogene African plate movements.