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: Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rhino horn trafficking up 30-fold: wildlife group

Dec 11, 2014

The trafficking of African rhinoceros horn on the black market has surged 30-fold in the past 13 years and is now running "out of control," animal protection advocates said Thursday.

Researchers discover intact 'ghost ship' off Hawai'i

Dec 05, 2014

Researchers from the University of Hawai'i (UH) and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries today announced the discovery of an intact "ghost ship" in 2,000 feet of water nearly 20 miles off the coast ...

Rare orchids keep quiet on pollination process

Dec 04, 2014

Orchids located throughout the south-west continued to excite and amaze locals during the recent wildflower season as conservationists work to secure the endangered specimens.

FBI probing Sony hack, as data leaks emerge

Dec 02, 2014

The FBI said Tuesday it was investigating a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, amid reports that employee information as well as new films were being leaked online.

Recommended for you

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

11 hours ago

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

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.