Several years back, an amateur paleontologist came across a stunning found in the Robledo Mountain, located a few miles from the city of Las Cruces. These footprints and tracks marked a very important paleontology discovery of all time. A vivid capture of prehistoric imprints give us a lot insight information about the life during the Permain Period.
About 290 million years ago before the Extinction, the area was the shore of the Early Permain sea. Pre-dinosaur amphibious animals, lizards, and reptiles such as the most well-known Dimetrodon roamed around the area. These amazing creatures left behind thousands of beautifully preserved footprints and tracks on the muddy ground. As a matter of fact, many other natural phenomenal such as raindrops, wave patterns, scorched and dried mud, all preserve within the layer of red rocks as if they were left just yesterday.
Overall, the southern New Mexico has the one of the best record in Permain fossils records.
Collecting Tracks from New Mexico
Due to scientific importance, the state law now prohibits excavation of fossilized tracks of any vertebrate animals in any public land. It is rather unfortunate to say that even with all the strict restriction, due to the un-precedent growth of the city and the increasing demand of the building materials, areas of Rebeldo Mountain is now being exploited by mining companies. Each day, thunderous blasts can be heard constantly as they these relentlessly mining actives dug further into the mountain, taking away the precious prehistoric imprints and grand them down into building materials.
Unfortunately, either the state government will implement a more stringent mining regulation or the famous Rebeldo Mountain simply vanishes and dissolved into thousands of new houses, for the private collectors, one must still obey the law about fossil collecting in the Bureau of Land Management in these areas.
The specimen is rather unusual. It contains two slabs. One contains the positive of the footprint while the other contains the negative part. The both slabs show what seems to be a footprint of some comparable large creature, along with some rather interesting and strange tracks. The print is hard to describe without the actual evaluation of an experienced paleontologist. So far, I can only use some of my naÔve assumptions. It seems that the print is consisted of four distinct toe imprints. Strangely, only the toe imprints are present, but the heel part is missing. I canít tell if the creature walks on its toes or it shift its body to the other limb for support. The first two digits of one toe are very pronounced and it almost gives a thumbprint impression. The middle toe has a vague representation of claw impression associate with it. The slabs each about two feet tall and the footprint extended to the length of human hand print.