Petrified forest found in New Mexico

October 12, 2007

An amateur paleontologist has uncovered petrified forests near the proposed Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in New Mexico's Robledos Mountains.

Spencer Lucas, interim executive director of the Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, told the Las Cruces (N.M.) News-Sun it is "the most significant fossil wood find from the Permian era in New Mexico in at least a century."

The find is credited to amateur paleontologist Jerry MacDonald of Las Cruces, the newspaper said.

The Permian Period is thought to have ended 248 million years ago with a mass extinction of species that ushered in the age of dinosaurs about 70 million years later, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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