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Let me start this off with two disclaimers: 1- I am sorry if this post would be more appropriate on an archeology forum. I would think that it would be fine here, however, because the "footprint" impression does appear to be fossilized. And because I have yet to join any archeology forums. I anyone has a recommendation for a good archeology forum let me know. 2- Being almost entirely engulfed in learning about just the Cretaceous of my local area, paleoanthropology is a bit out of my purview. So bear with me if I sound like I don't know what I am talking about. Because I don't. I feel more comfortable with ammonites and Ptychodus. On Wednesday night my mother brought to my attention a post by a Facebook friend of her's, Kevin, who was recently out leading a group of 4-wheeler enthusiasts along some extremely remote Arizona desert trails when he happened upon what appears to be a fossilized human footprint. He really enjoys the rugged beauty of the deserts of the southwest and has been leading groups on such 4-wheeler outings for many years. Because he doesn't have a TFF account and because his Facebook page is private, I am posting this for him. I don't know if this is a real print or, even if it is, that it would be a significant find. I just thought that it wold be appropriate to check with TFF now before it eventually erodes away, just incase it is important. My mother has been friends with Kevin on Facebook for years, and his association with our family goes back to him knowing my great-grandparents at their church in Parryton, Texas decades ago. From that long association, he seems to be the type of person that has neither the inclination or time to be faking tracks. His interest is in exploring the desert, not perpetrating weird hoaxes. My concern is not that he faked it, but that perhaps some other unscrupulous person, apparently with a lot of talent, came along the trail and did it. When this fossil piqued my interest I asked him if I could post this to a fossil forum that I belong to and he gladly allowed me to, saying that he hopes to learn as much about it as he can himself. During our conversation, he also said that he found it, "out in the middle of nowhere near Quartzite, AZ." Along with the pictures of the impression he wrote, "While I've seen several dinosaur footprints this is the first human one I've seen preserved in sedimentary rock. I'm always amazed when I think of all of the circumstances that had to come together for this to occur. Of course, I have no idea how old it is. I have been under the impression that Native American tribesman that might have roamed these area were small people, partially based on the size of the doorways in dwelling I've been to in Utah. This print is an adult and looked to be about a size 10 [about 25 to 28 cm long]. Perhaps this is older or more recent. No telling. But still impressive." To my untrained eye I don't see any obvious signs that this is faked, but I would like to know what you think about it. His didn't indicate the presence of any other tracks in the area, so either he missed them, the others are already weathered away, or more are still buried. Again, my knowledge of paleoanthropology is still wanting, but from reading theses articles (here, here, here, and here), I gather that human tracks in North America are rare but, as I see from the first article, they are not unheard of in Arizona. The first article is on a multi-track site just north of Tucson. And from the pictures in the articles, Kevin's would seem to be a very well preserved specimen if it is real. Interestingly, Mancos shows that the geology around Quartzite is very similar to that just north of Tucson, even though Quartzite is about 200 miles to the northwest of Tucson. The geology around Quartzite and Tucson is mapped as Quaternary surficial, with the age range listed as from the Gelasian (1.8 Ma) to modern holocene. Here are the only two pictures of the impression that he posted, along with his pictures of the surrounding scenery of the area. I am also including pictures of the Mancos map of the areas around Quartzite and Tucson. Hopefully the pictures are enough to at least say whether or not it is worth further investigation or an obvious fake. Thank you for your time. Fig. 1 Fig. 2
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsIn the Bones of a Buried Child, Signs of a Massive Human Migration to the Americas by Carl Zimmer, New York times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/science/native-americans-beringia-siberia.html Discovery of Unknown Ancient Population Changes Our Understanding of How North America Was Settled George Dvorsky, Gizmodo, Janaury 3, 2018 https://gizmodo.com/discovery-of-unknown-ancient-population-changes-our-und-1821739886 The First Americans: Ancient DNA Rewrites Settlement Story By Mindy Weisberger, January 3, 2018 https://www.livescience.com/61319-dna-first-americans-lineage.html Ancient Native American 'Twins' Had Different Mothers By Tia Ghose, LiveScience, October 26, 2015 https://www.livescience.com/52582-alaskan-burials-genetic-history.html The paper is: Moreno-Mayar, J. V., and others, 2018, Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans. Nature. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25173 https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25173 Yours, Paul H.
Has anyone come upon accounts of Native Americans finding dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles? I was reading a book about early dino discoveries in North America and I've heard of the Native American sand beast Seitaad (for which the prosauropod Seitaad is named). It's also interesting that the dubious tyrannosaur Dryptosaurus kenabekides is named after Kenabeek, a T. rex-like beast of Native American folklore. Would it reasonable to assume that the Native Americans occasionally came upon bones of dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles when they devised myths and legends of Native American monsters like Kenabeek and Seitaad?