2011 BLM Paleontological Resources Highlights

BLM Specialists Receive Unique Opportunity to Study Rare Tracksite in Tanzania.

BLM Wyoming Regional Paleontologist, Brent Breithaupt, and Geographic Specialists with the National Operations Center, Neffra Matthews and Tom Noble, were invited to Tanzania to assist with documenting the 3.6 million year old human footprints at the Laetoli Tracksite. Learn more about their work here

ALASKA

Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum , a new  ceratopsian (horned) dinosaur, was originally collected in 2006 from the Colville River in the National Petroleum Reserve and formally announced in 2011. Learn more here.

COLORADO

Dinosaur skin impressions were originally discovered in the Jurassic Morrison Formation in 1983 at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in the McInnis Canyons NCA and formally described in 2011. Learn more here .
 
EASTERN STATES
The 2 nd Annual National Fossil Day celebration was held on the National Mall with support from ESO and WO staff. Learn more here .
 
MONTANA
Seven institutions conducted excavations in eastern Montana during the 2011 field season including sites containing triceratopsian and hadrosaurian dinosaurs as well as microvertebrates including mammalian fossils.
 
NEW MEXICO
In partnership with BLM, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science published " Traces of a Permian Seacoast ," a publication for the general public on Prehistoric Trackways National Monument . Also, the NMMNH published Bulletin 53 which features articles on the paleontology of the San Juan Basin. Learn more here .
 
Inventories and other finds continue around the state in support of management actions that have identified  more tracksites, microvertebrate fossils, and hundreds paleontological localities.
 
NEVADA

 

Dinosaur trackways at Red Rock Canyon NCA were originally discovered in 2010, but announced in November 2011. They are the first documented tracksite in Nevada. Learn more here .

 

OREGON
The earliest evidence of Castor (true beaver) in North America was found on public land near the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in the Pliocene Rattlesnake Formation.  Learn more here .
 
UTAH
Talos sampsoni, a new troodontid theropod dinosaur, from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument originally discovered in 2008 in what was formerly "Laramidia," in the Late Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation. Learn more here.
 
Brontomerus mcintoshi , a new sauropod dinosaur, from the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation, originally discovered in 1995 in the Hotel Mesa Quarry, and formally described in 2011. Learn more here.
 
Inventories of three wilderness areas have identified numerous tracksites in the Navajo Sandstone,  Kayenta, and Moenave Formations.
 
WYOMING

Over 25 new specimens of Teilhardina brandti , one of the oldest known euprimates (suborder of modern primates), are reported from earliest Eocene strata of the southern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. Learn more here

 

Studies continue in the Bighorn Basin on the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and the impacts of climate change on the ancient life and the environment.  Robert Kunzig, environmental editor for the National Geographic Magazine, summarized the latest research in the article, Hothouse Earth, in October 2011.  Learn more here.

 

BLM Wyoming Regional Paleontologist, Brent Breithaupt, and colleagues, Neffra Matthews and Tom Noble, Geographic Specialists from the National Operations Center, were invited to Tanzania to assist with documenting the current status of the 3.6 million year-old human footprints at the Laetoli Tracksite. Learn more about their work here.


 

 

Illustration by Karen Carr of P. perotorum

 Alaska: Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum
Illustration by Karen Carr

 

Photo of tracks from Red Rock Canyon NCA

Nevada: Grallator (theropod) tracks

 

Teeth of Oregon Fossil Beaver

 Oregon: Fossil teeth of Castor castor

 

Photo of  T. Brandti teeth next to tarsier skull for comparison

Wyoming: fossil teeth of T. brandti.

Specimen of the extinct primate, Teilhardina brandti's upper jaw (top), compared with a skull specimen from a tarsier, a lemur-like animal from Southeast Asia.

CREDIT: Florida Museum of Natural History/Kristen Grace.