Paleontology on NM Public Lands

Paleontology: Photo of Prehistoric Trackway

Public lands in New Mexico record a long history of life on Earth, locked in the sedimentary rocks exposed at the Earth’s surface. From the badlands of the San Juan Basin, through the valley fill deposits and uplifted mountains of the basin and range, into the Permian Basin and onto the High Plains, evidence of ancient life can occur.


Did You Know?

  • 99 percent of all organisms that ever lived are believed to be extinct.
  • Less than 1 percent ever become fossilized.
  • Many of the fossils that you see in museums all over the country came from your public lands.

Discovery of a GiantDiscovery of a Giant
The fascinating story of the discovery of a dinosaur specimen.
Watch the progress of preparing the specimen for diagnosis and interpretation.
Specimen DatabasePaleontological Specimen Database of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Photo of the Bisti Beast skull

Paleontological Features in New Mexico

Information on the BLM's Paleontology Program

Permittee Information