LAS VEGAS (AP) – A geological professor from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said that he recently identified fossil tracks from a reptile along a popular trail in Grand Canyon National Park, which reported a newspaper.
Professor Steve Rowland acknowledged that the tracks with a basic reptile amount of alligator size and that it goes back about 315 million years, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal Thursday.
The 28 foot trails cross diagonally across a boulder at the edge of the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Corridor.
Rowland shared his findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology last month in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He hopes to submit a scientific paper in January.
He first saw the prints last year during a family holiday and said they were “quite unusual.” He said he heard about them from another geologist who saw them during the 2016 tour.
Scientists are unlikely to know exactly what kind of animal left the tracks, said Rowland, adding that he publishes a creature like a lizard about 2 feet (0.6 meters) long, like a bird Galapagos.
He said he spoke to the field officials about what to do with the prints and he would like to see him move from the canyon to a museum.
“More than the chance that this won't happen,” said Kari Cobb park spokesman.
She said that the removal of rock and its display elsewhere is not in line with the National Park Service's mission to conserve resources in its natural state.
“But we can set up an interpretive sign telling people what they are looking for,” Cobb said.
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