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Philmont Scout Ranch: Paleontology of the area?


MeargleSchmeargl

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MeargleSchmeargl

This June I'm heading for a 50+ mile hike in the famous Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Looking for a cool itinerary (route) to take, I searched through all the activities there. The 2 most exciting things I found were an Archaeological dig (sounds a lot like a hobby I have :ighappy:)  and a relatively recently discovered T.Rex footprint, currently the only one known to exist! 

 

Now that my curiosity is in full flight, I was wondering if there was anything else Paleontology regarding Philmont. With the presence of a T.rex track, the logical conclusion is there's some kinda Cretaceous formation there. Are there any others, older or younger? Would love to go see it!

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Correction on the uniqueness of the rex print... there is at least one here in Glenrock, WY.  

 

Otherwise, I do not know the answer to your queries. 

 

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MeargleSchmeargl
4 minutes ago, jpc said:

Correction on the uniqueness of the rex print... there is at least one here in Glenrock, WY.  

 

Otherwise, I do not know the answer to your queries. 

 

Oh really? Was told that there was only one. Ah well, still pretty awesome! :dinosmile:

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I think everyone who has one likes to make that claim.... 

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I collected the area around the mouth of Turkey Creek, just north of US Hwy 64, about 3 years ago.  I was accompanied by a young lady from the ranch, as the area is on ranch property.  I think she was pretty bored, though glad to get out of the office for a few hours.  The outcrops are Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale.  Basically there is a lot of shale, with zones of large calcareous concretions.  The concretions are, I believe, associated with areas of methane seeps on the sea floor back in the Cretaceous.  I found the area to be poorly fossiliferous, but I did find fossils in a few of the large concretions.  In particular, I found several nicely preserved Inoceramus bivalves, and one concretion contained many specimens of Scaphites ammonites.  Other ammonites, including Baculites, Placenticeras, and Didymoceras have been reported in the area.  I collected a few Baculites when I visited the area years ago, but not on the more recent trip.  Most of the ammonites are known to occur in narrow stratigraphic intervals so you probably just have to get lucky and look in the right layer.  There are also lots of nice gypsum crystals all over.  It's a fun place to hunt, I think it's beautiful there but bring lots of water.

 

Don

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Xiphactinus

Philmont is the best! Did a 100 miler with my boys in '10. You can't collect anything on the Ranch (you won't want to....as rocks are HEAVY for hiking). There are Cretaceous deposits all around. Noticed plants in sandstone and Inocermus clams as we hiked. Not every trek goes to the T-rex track, but they do have a cast at Base Camp in case you don't get to it. A couple of the camp cabins had collections of fossils.

 

Have a blast!!

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I have done 5 treks there. 2 when I was young. Then 3 more after the mountains got taller and the oxygen got a lot thinner. I was to busy hiking or keeping up with scouts to look for fossils. 

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