Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Significant Dinosaur Tracksite Discovered In Wyoming

Date:
March 25, 1998
Source:
University Of Wyoming
Summary:
New insights into ancient North America will result from the discovery of 165 million year-old dinosaur footprints near Shell, Wyo., according to a University of Wyoming researcher.

New insights into ancient North America will result from the discovery of 165 million year-old dinosaur footprints near Shell, Wyo., according to a University of Wyoming researcher.

Related Articles


"The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite is the most important tracksite ever found in Wyoming. Dinosaur tracksites like this from the Middle Jurassic Period are rare in the world," says paleontologist Brent Breithaupt, UW Geological Museum director who is leading the fossil track investigation of the site.

"The tracksite is special because little is known about dinosaurs of that time," Breithaupt adds. "Also, it is from an area of Wyoming that some believed was under a vast inland sea during the Middle Jurassic, so the site will help in our understanding of the region's geologic past."

The site is located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered public land. Erik Kvale, an Indiana Geological Survey geologist, found the tracks in spring 1997 during a family outing. Kvale was surprised to find the footprints in the Sundance Formation that is better known for its plentiful marine fossils. Elizabeth H. Southwell, UW Geological Museum researcher, and other scientists are assisting Briethaupt.

Initial findings indicate that many of the footprints were made by meat-eating (theropod) dinosaurs that traveled on a tidal flat along a shoreline. In-depth site research will begin this spring to uncover the tracks and map the 40-acre tracksite. A public educational/interpretive program may be developed with the BLM, Breithaupt says.

"We hope further searching may expose better preserved examples of these tracks, which might allow for further identification," he says. "There is a potential to find tracks of other types of animals such as lizards, crocodiles, pterosaurs, mammals and birds."

The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite is located in the same general area where "Big Al", one of the most complete Allosaurus fossils ever found, was discovered in 1991. A display about "Big Al" is featured at the UW Geological Museum. However, "Big Al" didn't make any of the tracks since he lived approximately 15 million years after the animals that made the tracks at Red Gulch, Breithaupt says.

"The tracks were made by dinosaurs that lived just before the major expansion of dinosaur species that marked the Late Jurassic Period in North America," Breithaupt adds.

The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite will provide opportunities for UW students interested in paleontology, geology, and geography and recreation, Breithaupt says. "This is more than an opportunity to explore the past. It is a chance for students to learn about an important educational and scientific resource."

Besides Breithaupt and Southwell, other scientists involved at the site are Kvale, who is studying the sedimentologic and stratigraphic components of the Sundance Formation; James O. Farlow, Indiana University, who will assist in the trackway research; Michael Brett-Surman, Smithsonian Institution, who will help identify the trackmakers; Allen Archer, Kansas State University, who will study the invertebrate fossils at the site; and Gary D. Johnson, Dartmouth College, who will assist in determining the age of the site and develop a geologic map of the area.

For more information, call Breithaupt at (307) 766-2646. For information about viewing the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite, call BLM public affairs specialists Janine Terry, (307) 347-5194, or Cindy Wertz, (307) 775-6014.

Visit the UW Geological Museum web site at http://www.uwyo.edu/legal/geomuseum/geolpage.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Wyoming. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Wyoming. "Significant Dinosaur Tracksite Discovered In Wyoming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980325074828.htm>.
University Of Wyoming. (1998, March 25). Significant Dinosaur Tracksite Discovered In Wyoming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980325074828.htm
University Of Wyoming. "Significant Dinosaur Tracksite Discovered In Wyoming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980325074828.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins