Protection asked for fossilized footprints

Mar 27, 2006

Protection is being sought for a 290-million-year-old New Mexico archeological site where thousands of ancient fossil footprints have been discovered.

The site was discovered near Las Cruces, N.M., 15 years ago by an amateur geologist and now a group called the Paleozoic Trackways Foundation is seeking protection for the site, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported Monday. The group said it fears without protection the site -- called one of the most important fossil beds of the Paleozoic era -- will be lost to mining, looting and weather.

Spencer Lucas, curator of paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, said the discovery of the site altered paleontologists' knowledge about the era.

Lucas said before the trackways in the Robledo Mountains were uncovered, researchers overestimated the number of animals that existed at the time because they had only isolated examples of tracks they had incorrectly assumed were from different animals. In addition, he told the Sun-News scientists had also discovered tracks of insects they had not known existed.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: And now the Acropolis is crumbling...

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Preserving crucial tern habitat in Long Island Sound

Sep 23, 2014

Great Gull Island is home to one of the most important nesting habitats for Roseate and Common terns in the world. The estimated 1,300 pairs of Roseate terns that summer on the 17-acre island at the eastern ...

Militants threaten ancient sites in Iraq, Syria

Sep 19, 2014

For more than 5,000 years, numerous civilizations have left their mark on upper Mesopotamia—from Assyrians and Akkadians to Babylonians and Romans. Their ancient, buried cities, palaces and temples packed ...

Native vegetation makes a comeback on Santa Cruz Island

Sep 17, 2014

On islands, imported plants and animals can spell ecological disaster. The Aleutians, the Galápagos, the Falklands, Hawaii, and countless other archipelagoes have seen species such as rats, goats, brown ...

NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate

Sep 16, 2014

A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the "mystery wreck." ...

Recommended for you

How the financial crisis boosted the best leaders

3 hours ago

Six years on from the financial crisis and still many of us feel deeply unsure about institutions and individuals we had previously revered as beacons of reliability and certainty. The need to repair that ...

User comments : 0