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: The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with our species

Related Stories

Unique animal communities may need special protection

Mar 18, 2015

New Zealand's underwater mountains are home to unique animal communities which need careful environmental management, research from Victoria University of Wellington and the National Institute of Water & ...

Recommended for you

Destroyed Mosul artefacts to be rebuilt in 3D

Mar 27, 2015

It didn't take long for the scientific community to react. Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP ...

Boys plagiarise more than girls at school

Mar 27, 2015

Research by the University of the Balearic Islands has analysed the phenomenon of academic plagiarism among secondary school students. The study, published in the journal Comunicar, confirms that this practi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.