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Rock fall at Grand Canyon reveals ancient animal footprints

Posted at 12:13 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 15:13:22-04

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A rock tumble at the Grand Canyon revealed fossil footprints that researchers say are among the oldest in the park.

Steve Rowland is a geology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and recently published the findings with two co-authors. They say the creature that made the tracks is something like a modern-day chuckwalla that strolled in sand dunes in a coastal plain more than 300 million years ago.

Not everyone is convinced the footprints were created by a single animal. Or, that the footprints are those of animals with a distinctive gait and that lay eggs with protective hard shells. But Grand Canyon officials say the research raises interesting questions.