ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dinosaurs once roamed the Land of Enchantment when a great sea covered the middle of what is now North America.
Physical evidence of this can be seen around the state including at Clayton Lake State Park in northeastern New Mexico, where a trove of dinosaur tracks greet the public. The fossil trackway of dinosaurs draws interest from around the globe.
Now New Mexico State Parks is teaming up with students at Central New Mexico Community College and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to map out the footprints. Park officials installed a catwalk that encircles the track site area, allowing visitors easy access and a chance to view the footprints up close.
Spencer Lucas, a curator of paleontology at the museum, said there are only about a half dozen dinosaur footprint sites in the United States located in public places. Footprints, he said can give scientists a lot of information. In addition to the type of dinosaur that left the track, footprints reveal how tall and long a dinosaur was and how fast it walked. He said the hundreds of tracks found at Clayton Lake, which is about 4½ hours from Albuquerque, are from four different species of dinosaurs and were all made within a year.