Continent's oldest bird tracks are found

Nov 23, 2005

University of Colorado scientists say they have found fossilized bird tracks in the Cedar Mountains near Moab, Utah, that are 125 million years old.

That means the discovery represents the North American continent's oldest existing bird tracks, the Salt Lake City Deseret News reported. The sandstone slates containing the tracks will eventually be displayed at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

Utah's state paleontologist, James Kirkland, said the tracks "date at the same age as one of the most important discoveries of this century in terms of dinosaurs and birds," a time of change among the Earth's creatures.

John Foster, curator of paleontology at the Museum of Western Colorado, agreed, saying, "To get much older than this, you have to go into the late Jurassic and the (bird) bones that have been discovered in Europe."

Joanna Wright from the University of Colorado-Denver, told the Deseret News it's difficult to determine what kind of feathered creatures made the tracks. "They were small, perhaps the size of shoreline birds we see along the Great Salt Lake," she said. "But we couldn't put them in a family of modern birds because they go back too far."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Turin Egyptian Museum gets overhaul of pharaonic proportions

Related Stories

Zoo innovations has animals foraging for food

Mar 20, 2015

When red pandas go on exhibit for the first time at Brookfield Zoo in July, they'll be housed around a broad tree that looks like a giant bonsai and has magical qualities.

Beating bird wings generate electricity for data collector

Mar 11, 2015

A technology that generates electricity from the beating wings of birds, bats or even moths could produce enough power to run a device that collects data – such as location, migration habits or vital physiological ...

Recommended for you

Using Twitter to probe political polarization

4 hours ago

We'd like to believe that our opinions are nuanced, balanced, high-minded, wise and above all, unique, but alas they are not—or so says Twitter. Most often, those we engage with on the popular social media ...

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.