Dinosaurs Found in Nevada!

Grallator tracks are those footprints made by small theropod dinosaurs (two-legged, three-toed, meat-eating dinosaurs.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of BLM

Dinosaurs Found in Nevada!

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.

Red Rocks, Nevada Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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)

Grallator tracks are those footprints made by small theropod dinosaurs (two-legged, three-toed, meat-eating dinosaurs.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The sheet shows an ID of Grallator track. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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.

Grallator tracks are those footprints made by small theropod dinosaurs (two-legged, three-toed, meat-eating dinosaurs.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The bar in the photo is used for 3D photo imagery and is about one foot long. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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

Red Rocks, Nevada Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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.

Grallator tracks are those footprints made by small theropod dinosaurs (two-legged, three-toed, meat-eating dinosaurs.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This fossilized print also shows a ripple mark. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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.

Octopodichnus tracks are those footprints made by arthropods (possibly similar to modern spiders and scorpions.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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.

Octopodichnus tracks are those footprints made by arthropods (possibly similar to modern spiders and scorpions.) The tracks and trackways were made 180 to 190 million years ago during the Early Jurassic period and are found in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The bar in the photo is used for 3D photo imagery and is about three feet long. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

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