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: Scientists seen as competent but not trusted by Americans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sparks fly as Di Grassi wins first electric race

Sep 14, 2014

A spectacular crash at the last corner that ended leader Nicolas Prost's race and sent ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld flying into the fencing gave Brazil's Lucas di Grassi victory in the first ever Formula E ...

Mosquito fact and fiction

Sep 10, 2014

One of Jason Pitts' favorite stories is about mosquitoes and their strange attraction to Limburger cheese.

'Green wave' explains migratory bird routes

Sep 10, 2014

Migratory songbirds enjoy the best of both worlds—food-rich summers and balmy winters—but they pay for it with a tough commute. Their twice-a-year migrations span thousands of miles and are the most dangerous, physically ...

Adapting to Arctic change

Sep 03, 2014

Arctic climate change is real and happening faster than expected. Impacts will likely be large over the next 20 years and society needs to adapt. Climate researchers around the world are now engaged to help ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0