Each year a team of paleontology researchers, led by Dr. Randall Irmis, visit various dig sites at Ghost Ranch. Fossil material is collected and returned with the team to the Natural History Museum of Utah where the specimens are cleaned and identified.
Two scientists, Dr. Martin Ezcurra from Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, and Dr. Sterling Nesbitt from Virginia Tech, will soon have an article published in the international scientific journal Nature.
This article will feature fossil specimens discovered at Ghost Ranch.
The study provides new insights into the origin of pterosaurs (flying reptiles that occupied the skies for ~150 million years during the Age of Dinosaurs). The scientists concluded that pterosaurs are most closely related to a group of animals called lagerpetids. These early dinosaur cousins lived during the Triassic Period, ~237 to ~210 million years ago and roamed the swamps of what is now New Mexico.
Image: A lagerpetid similar to Dromomeron romeri chases after its prey. Credit: Rodolfo Nogueira.
Did you know…
You can take a virtual tour of the Paleontology Museum and see a brief History of Ghost Ranch Tour online? Click the button to be taken to the Izi Travel website. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.
Our Paleontology of Ghost Ranch is being offered once again! This tour focuses on Triassic fossils discovered at Ghost Ranch. Drive and then walk to the original quarry site and step back in time geologically and historically to better understand the significance of this famous dinosaur. (The Archaeology of Ghost Ranch Tour will return in May.)
Header photo: Brent Funderburk