For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
Post Reply
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

NPS release on April 22, 2021: “After a multi-year effort, the National Park Service and the Utah Geological Association have published Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Paleontological Resources Inventory: A Century of Fossil Discovery and Research, available for public download on the Utah Geological Association website.

https://utahgeology.org/publications/special-pubs

(Found on the web: "While moving to a new apartment I lost several of my fossils from when I was a kid. They weren't really worth much so I guess it's just the sedimental value I'm missing.")
User avatar
Hansenaz
Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 06 2005 7:22 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Hansenaz »

@Canyonram
Really nice they make it available on-line....
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

Hansenaz wrote:Really nice they make it available on-line....
Yep. What used to take weeks to research is now available with the right search engine and keywords. In the past, you'd have to mail a postcard to the appropriate author/researcher and request a print on the paper, etc. If the author had the funds and a functioning Xerox machine, you might get a print of copy months after the request. Now, these large research papers are available with a mouse click.

In addition, posting a link here on HAZ Forum to an outside source actually brings traffic back to this site because the search results will find the topic and list it in the search results. Do a search on: Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Paleontological Resources Inventory: A Century of Fossil Discovery and Research
The link to this very forum topic shows up on page 2 of the search results. It's magic.

I started a topic on Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon (10+ years ago). If you do a search on that title, the HAZ forum shows up on page 3 of the Microsoft Bing search engine. I have had researchers contact me on the issue---all because the web is linking all this back to the forum.

So, for more fodder for Paleontological Geeks, here's the original 1926 paper discussing the fossil prints on the Hermit Trail:

https://paleoarchive.com/literature/Gil ... anyonI.pdf
User avatar
Hansenaz
Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 06 2005 7:22 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Hansenaz »

@Canyonram
Yeah I'm with you. I learned (~50years ago) that literature searches were done using Chem Abstracts in the library. If you found a good source it was 5cents a page in the xerox machine. Boy was that slow and hit-or-miss.
What you can learn from Google in one sec is 100X better, and that's not counting more nuanced internet searching. Now the challenge is allocating your time to read the most interesting/relevant stuff. (I'll try to get to that 1926 paper which is no doubt interesting.)
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

A quick day hike down the South Rim Bright Angel. Fantastic new fossil prints revealed in a rockfall---right along the trail. LOL. As the authors state, "These are the first vertebrate trackways reported from the Manakacha Formation and the oldest known in the Grand Canyon region. They are among the oldest amniote trackways ever reported, and by far the oldest reported in eolianite."

Best get down fast to see them in their natural location: "We are in discussions with the National Park Service regarding the scientific importance of
the Bright Angel Trail trackways, with the goal of placing both trackway-bearing blocks in a museum collection for protection from vandalism and weathering, possible public display, and additional research."

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237636.g002
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

If you enter/exit the South Rim to the Canyon via Desert View, one of the stops on the trip is the Cameron Trading Post. In the building housing the 'Fine Arts' (not the same building with the Gift shop and restaurant) on the wall are fossil footprints of Cheirotherium (also known as Chirotherium)---a Triassic era dinosaur thought to be on the lineage leading to modern crocs. What is unique in the appearance is an opposable thumb giving the trace fossils the look of having been made by some large bear (or Bigfoot LOL). This species was originally recognized in Germany and the fact that it is also here in the American SW is evidence that the continents were connected in the geological past, if you get my drift. Scroll down the page to Dinosaur Tracks

https://camerontradingpost.com/fine-art.html

Also, should you be interested in leaving your own trace fossil corprolith in the Canyon, be sure to stop in the restaurant and treat yourself to an Indian Taco. (If your waitress is Navajo, ask for the Navajo Taco. If your waitress is Hopi, ask for the Hopi Taco. If you don't know, ask for the Indian Taco). Only the large will do. You can carb up for several days of hiking propelled down the trail by your own gaseous fumes. Your sleeping bag will hold the memory forever. Do not be the last one in the hiking line.

Scroll down to 'What's on the Menu"

https://camerontradingpost.com/restaurant.html
User avatar
big_load
Posts: 4636
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by big_load »

Canyonram wrote:If you enter/exit the South Rim to the Canyon via Desert View, one of the stops on the trip is the Cameron Trading Post.
I usually stop by there a couple times a year. They also usually have blue corn flour.
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

Another easily accessible site for trace fossil footprints is located at the ‘Tuba City Dinosaur Tracks.’ PaleoRob posted a good description on HikeAZ many moons ago here:

[ Tuba City Dinosaur Tracks ]

From Flagstaff
Take US-89 N for approximately 61 miles
Turn right onto US-160 E and go about 5 miles
Turn left into the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks

It is just up the road from the Cameron Trading Center (about 20 miles) and that huge Indian Taco you ate.

Eubrontes–These are footprints “identified by their shape, and not of the genus or genera that made them, which is as yet unknown. They are most famous for their discovery in the Connecticut River Valley, Massachusetts in 1802.” In other words, these are fossil footprints without a definite dino associated with them.

Coelophysis kayentakatae – Also known as Syntarsus and Megapnosaurus.

https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/rowe/files/015-Rowe-1989.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelophysis_kayentakatae

Discussion of the Kayenta formation for the geological geeks. The fossil prints at Tuba City includes Ornithodires (scroll down to this section for artistic rendering):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayenta_Formation

Grallator–Good discussion and history here
https://fossil.fandom.com/wiki/Grallator

Dilophosaurus wetherilli
https://dinopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Dilophosaurus

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilophosaurus_wetherilli
Scroll down to the last section “In Mass Culture” describing how this species was portrayed in the ‘Jurassic Park’ series of films.

A visit to the ‘Tuba City Dinosaur Tracks’ also includes an opportunity to meet with Navajo tour guides. Be prepared to be a victim of the Navajo sense of humor—Coyote is the trickster and the guides will size you up pretty quickly should you talk down to them or put on airs that you know more about dinosaurs than you do. If you expect to see a T. Rex, they’ll show you one even though it was much later in geological history. (T-Rex lived about 66–68 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period in the western United States, including Montana and Wyoming: The Velociraptor was around 75 to 71 million years ago. Contrary to “Jurassic Park” the Velociraptor did not exist during the Jurassic period and did not appear appear until the late Cretaceous period millions of years later; Dilophosaurus lived in what is now North America during the Early Jurassic, about 193 million years ago. T

Even the AZ Travel website will give you want you want in regarding a T-Rex:
https://www.visitarizona.com/like-a-loc ... dinosaurs/

Navajo humor:





Be aware that the Navajo Creation story is rich in descriptions of fossils as well as the unique geological sites—they are evidence of the epic battle between the Monsters and the Twin Brothers who saved mankind by slaying the Monsters. For example, what we call ‘The Mittens’ at Monument Valley is the chopped off hand turned to stone of a Del-geed. The lava flow near Mt. Taylor is the blood turned to stone of yet another Monster killed in the epic battle. Traditional Navjao will avoid this Tuba City site.

The guide is using the printout I made for him—but is still describing T-Rex. LOL. His narrative would make for a good quiz on this site since he is making so many errors. .. or pulling the leg of the tourists (like 'Practical Jokers').

[ youtube video ]
Last edited by joebartels on Jun 12 2021 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Reformatted the youtube link to the HAZ Format. Fixed broken Medium link with a carriage return.
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

For the junior paleontologists (and the older ones who still like to use their colored pencils and crayons): https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/644688

I have two young kids for neighbors (10 yr old boy, 9 year old girl) who are fascinated by everything Dinosaurs. I think they have seen the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies dozens of times—they relate to the two kids in the original movie. At first glance, the coloring pages are heavy on the verbiage that intimidates way too many away from ‘science.’ Guess what—kids eager to learn will gladly learn the terminology in stride. They’re mastering material that had me stumped in college. LOL.

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/up ... preads.pdf
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

Here’s a good description of the Tuba City/Cameron Dinosaur tracks.
http://www.arizonabc.com/Pages/JurassicPeriodAz.html

FOSSIL TRACKS IN THE MOENAVE

A rare occurrence of running dinosaurs has recently been documented in the Moenave Formation near Cameron, Arizona, dating from the Early Jurassic, about 180 million years ago The tracks show strides of 16 feet and an estimated speed of 20 miles per hour. These tracks probably belonged to Dilophosaurus, which is the first large carnivorous dinosaur known to appear anywhere in the fossil record, and may be closely related to the generalized megalosaurs found worldwide.

There are at least 34 dinosaur trails (over 300 tracks) in this location with a total of three other running dinosaur tracks. The speeds of the three small trackways are estimated to be from 8-14 miles per hour. All of the footprints are thought to be made by small theropods (meat-eating dinosaurs), possibly including Syntarsus, Coelophysis and Segisaurus. This amazing tracksite was actually first discovered in the 1930's by the famed Roland T. Bird, who was told about it by an elderly Navajo man describing giant "bird" tracks in the desert. Bird made no map of the site but did have a photograph taken of himself knelling next to the tracks. The site was long lost for the ensuring 50 years until Scott Madsen, working as a preparator at the Museum of Northern Arizona, studied the photo and went out into he general area east of Cameron the Navajo reservation in 1986. After driving around for several days, he recognized the landmarks from the photo and indeed the site was found. The Cameron site is one of six documented Early Jurassic tracksites that are known to exist in northeast Arizona. Permission from the Navajo Nation is always required before accessing their land.

The environment of the Wingate Sandstone phase of the Moenave Formation was probably hot and dry with occasional period of river deposition to form the Moenave. Various tracks found over the years in the Kayenta have been given dinosaurs name such as Coelophysis, Dilophosaurus, Eubrontes, Anchisauripus, Grallator, Kayentapus, Hopiichnus, Navahopus, Megalosaurus, Syntarsus and Scutellosaurus though some of these names, based on tracks, may not be entirely valid.

The study and interpretation of trackways has great potential but in recent years scientists realized that the identification of dinosaur species on the basis of footprints isn't always an exacting science. Often, such have entirely different Latin names than the dinosaurs that may have actually left them so long ago and it is only when the intact fossilized feet of these rare dinosaurs are found that correct matches can be made.

Tracks can give us a wealth of information pertaining to classification, speed and type of locomotion, posture, social behavior (e.g. herding), recognition of ancient environments, shoreline identification, depth of water, and evolution of these reptiles. For instance, all dinosaur tracks indicate no "tail dragging" marks, inferring that the dinosaurs indeed did walk with an upright posture. Also, the fact that there are many, many more tracks than bones available for study increases the urgency of learning to understand what tracks can tell us.
Paleontologist T. Bird described a badly trampled area as: ... a 'chicken yard' hodge-podge of footprints, few of which can be identified as belonging to a trackway ... a single trackway shows about 10 footprints in a row heading west-the only animal that seemed to know where he was going." Many sites show dinosaur tracks distributed at random representing many different animals crossing one spot but maybe at different times. Sometimes the tracks are uniform, and represent a single species of dinosaur, either individually or in groups.”


Quote taken from: http://www.arizonabc.com/Pages/JurassicPeriodAz.html

Another source available to read on-line:

Posterolateral Markings on Dinosaur Tracks, Cameron Dinosaur Tracksite, Lower Jurassic Moenave Formation, Northeastern Arizona
Grace V. Irby

Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 69, No. 4 (Jul., 1995), pp. 779-784 (6 pages)
Published by: Paleontological Society

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1306311?se ... b_contents
User avatar
Canyonram
Posts: 305
Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ
Contact:

Re: For the Grand Canyon Paleontological Geeks

Post by Canyonram »

I contacted the Arizona Office of Tourism regarding their mistaken narrative for the Tuba City Dinosaur location. This is their old content from their website:

“Five miles outside Tuba City off of State Highway 160, you can follow in the footsteps of Arizona's dinosaurs—literally. Hundreds of three-toed tracks belonging to what is believed to be the horse-sized, plant-munching dilophosaurus are preserved on the desert floor—part of what's now known as the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks located on the Navajo Nation.

You'll even find evidence of a prehistoric struggle with tracks that tell the story of a dilophosaurus family meeting a T. rex. Fossilized smashed dilophosaurus eggs can be spotted near the fossil of a downed adult dilophosaurus. Look a little more closely and you'll also see a five-inch claw the T. rex didn't mean to leave behind.”


My comments to Tourism AZ website:

T-Rex lived about 66–68 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period in the western United States, including Montana and Wyoming: The Velociraptor was around 75 to 71 million years ago. Contrary to “Jurassic Park” the Velociraptor did not exist during the Jurassic period and did not appear until the late Cretaceous period millions of years later; Dilophosaurus lived in what is now North America during the Early Jurassic, about 193 million years ago.

Tourism AZ got back in touch:

Colleen forwarded your response to me, as I help manage the content on the website. I followed up with Flagstaff.com, which hosts the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks information page. Per their own notes, and those of the paleontologists who were consulted to review the fossils, we've updated our story to more clearly indicate these are trace fossils whose exact species is uncertain but likely to belong to several dinosaurs that are identified in the revised story. Their new description:

https://www.visitarizona.com/like-a-loc ... dinosaurs/

Still wrong, but closer. Illustrates the power of the Internet to prank the entire world with made-up stories that mimic the plot line of the popular ‘Jurassic Park’ movies and have a hodge-podge mix of dinosaurs all biting each other in the arse. The Navajo guides have gone major World-wide Coyote Trickster. LOL.
Post Reply

Return to “Grand Canyon Forum”