Fossils At Colorado National Monument To Remain On Display Through Year's End

A set of three rare fossilized footprints found in Colorado National Monument will remain on public display there through the end of the year. NPS photo of one of the prints.

A set of rare fossilized footprints discovered in Colorado National Monument and unveiled to the public earlier this month will remain on display through year's end, according to Superintendent Joan Anzelmo.

The fossils, which you can see in the monument's visitor center, all date to the Jurassic Period some 150 million years ago. The footprints include:

Turtle tracks discovered in the park in 2005. Footprints of this particular type are extremely rare, having been found at only one other site in North America.

•Intact tracks of a three-toed dinosaur. It is not yet known whether the dinosaur that made these 7-inch long tracks, which were discovered in the park this past September 16, was a carnivore or a plant eater.

•Lizard tracks of a type never before found in Colorado's Morrison Formation, the most fertile source of dinosaur fossils in North America. Like the three-toed dinosaur tracks, these lizard tracks -- a very exciting discovery -- were found in the park only very recently. On September 22 a park employee working along Rim Rock Drive moved a rock and this fossil literally fell out.

Colorado National Monument’s Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located 4 miles from the west entrance station in Fruita, Colorado. Special gift items related to the exhibits and other unique merchandise are available in the visitor center bookstore.