Grand Canyon discoveries; Over 300 million year old fossilised footprints found inside, United States


Grand Canyon discoveries; Over 300 million year old fossilised footprints found inside

Scientists are making new discoveries everyday, and this time, more than 300 million year old fossilised footprints are discovered at the famous Grand Canyon National Park, USA. These footprints may have clues to what life on Earth was like millions of years ago.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have come out with a complete report about fossil footprints found near a hiking trail in the park. As per research papers, these footprints could be 313 million year old and, presumably, are among the oldest animal tracks left. Scientists are still discussing the fact whether or not these were egg-laying animals.

It’s an important discovery that would suggest the earliest examples of animals walking on sand dunes, and could tell scientists the time in history when animals could lay eggs outside of water.

Mark Nebel, paleontology program manager at the Grand Canyon in a statement said, “Some of the conclusions likely are going to be controversial. There’s a lot of disagreement in the scientific community about interpreting tracks, interpreting the age of rocks, especially interpreting what kind of animal made these tracks.”

The claw marks left in the rock are quite distinct and are most common among reptiles today and that’s one of the major reasons why researchers are estimating that these footprints belong to some egg-laying animal.

The Associated Press quoted Steve Rowland, professor emeritus of geology, “I think our interpretations will hold up very well”. As of now, the rock sits comfortably close to the Bright Angel hiking trail. Now, scientists are trying to find ways to mark it on the trail or better, move the marked rock to a facility or museum nearby so that they can study it further.

In the past, similar tracks have been discovered by scientists and researchers on various types of terrain on Earth.

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