Hiker Finds Fossilized Turtle Dating Back 90 Million Years


Jeff Dornbusch knew there was something odd about a pile of gray rocks he spotted more than a decade ago during a hike in the southern New Mexico desert, and a closer look confirms that he was right.

Dornbusch, a museum volunteer in Truth or Consequences, N.M., relocated those rocks in 2012 and notified local scientists, who identified the rocks as fragments of a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Since then, researchers have returned to the site where the rocks were found and excavated the rest of the turtle.

(Story continues below image.)

Workers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History (from left, Tom Suazo, fossil preparer; Amanda Cantrell, geosciences collections manager; Jake Sayler, volunteer; and Asher Lichtig, student researcher) excavating the 90-million-year-old turtle fossil on Oct. 29, 2014, about six miles east of Turtleback Mountain, a well-known peak near Truth or Consequences.

The prehistoric Adocus turtle’s environment 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period was much different than the desert landscape where its remains were unearthed.

“Basically, what this is [was] a swampy, near-shore environment,” Tom Suazo, fossil preparer for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, told the Sun-News.

With help from volunteers, researchers dug —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *