A cliff collapse at the Grand Canyon has unveiled what’s turned out to be a major archeological find: a 313 million-year-old set of fossilized footprints.
While hundreds of prehistoric footprints have been found in the canyon over the years, this particular set stands out among the rest, says geologist Allan Krill. “These are by far the oldest vertebrate tracks in the Grand Canyon, which is known for its abundant fossil tracks,” Rowland says. “They are among the oldest tracks on Earth of shelled-egg-laying animals, such as reptiles, and the earliest evidence of vertebrate animals walking in sand dunes.”
A discovery made by a geology professor turned out to be a bigger deal than he could have imagined: what he stumbled upon were the oldest vertebrate fossil tracks ever found at Grand Canyon National Park — about 313 million years old. https://t.co/hZ3KECy5FT
— CNN International (@cnni) August 21, 2020
The newly-discovered tracks reveal a previously unknown gait, Rowland says. The creature that made the tracks appears to have walked by stepping forward with a front leg and back leg at the same time. Rowland says scientists “previously had no information about that.”
What’s the oldest thing you’ve found on or in the ground? Do you think there might have been another dominant species on Earth before dinosaurs came along?