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Southern Nevada District Office
Release Date: 11/21/11
Contacts: Kirsten Cannon , 702-515-5057 ,

Dinosaur Tracks Confirmed at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Las Vegas - Bureau of Land Management (BLM) paleontologists have confirmed fossilized tracks (footprints) made 180 to 190 million years ago in sandstone within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This is the first documented dinosaur tracksite in Nevada.

Dubbed the Red Rock Tracksite, dozens of tracks from the Early Jurassic period have currently been documented. 

At this point, two types of tracks and trackways are recognized from the site:

  • Grallator tracks are footprints made by small theropod dinosaurs (two-legged, three-toed, meat-eating dinosaurs)
  • Octopodichnus tracks are footprints made by arthropods (possibly similar to modern spiders and scorpions)

Because of the fragile nature of fossils such as these, the specific location of the Red Rock Tracksite is not being released at this time. 

BLM will partner with researchers to collect more data and further research the tracksite as well as create a monitoring plan and management plan. 

An interpretive display about the Red Rock Tracksite will soon be available at the visitor center and more information will also be posted on the BLM website. 

The tracksite was discovered by Red Rock visitors. Many significant discoveries are made by the public who work with public land managers and professional paleontologists to discover, record and preserve paleontological resources on public lands. If you discover tracks or trackways at Red Rock Canyon, please call 702-515-5350 as soon as possible and provide information about location and photographs.

Please help protect paleontological sites. It is illegal to dig, remove, or collect vertebrate fossils without a permit. Never take molds or castings, or apply anything to fossils including trackways. Never drive over, walk on or sit on fossils.

Click here for photos.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 11-21-2011