Heckert_lucas_sullivan_2000

Triassic dinosaurs in New Mexico

A review of all the Triassic dinosaur fossils then known from New Mexico.

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Abstract

New Mexico is unique among Western states in possessing an extensive and diverse record of Triassic dinosaurs. This record is the world's most complete for understanding Triassic theropod evolution from Adamanian (latest Carnian) through Apachean (latest Norian/Rhaetian) time. New Mexico's record of Triassic theropods includes superposed faunas of Adamanian and Revueltian age, as well as the Coelophysis Lagerstätte of Apachean age. Holotype theropods from the Triassic of New Mexico include Coelophysis bauri (Cope), Eucoelophysis baldwini Sullivan and Lucas, and Gojirasaurus quayi Carpenter. Theropod ichnofossils include a single track from strata of Adamanian age in west-central New Mexico and numerous tracksites of Apachean age in the east-central and northeastern part of the state, all of which are dominantly theropod tracks assigned to the ichnogenus Grallator.


Other Triassic dinosaurs from New Mexico include isolated ornithischian teeth of both Adamanian and Revueltian age. Adamanian teeth include those assigned to Tecovasaurus from the Bluewater Creek Formation of west-central New Mexico and a diverse fauna, including a potentially new taxon, from the Los Esteros Member of the Santa Rose Formation in north-central New Mexico. Revueltian teeth include the type specimens of Revueltosaurus callenderi Hunt and Lucianosaurus wildi Hunt and Lucas, both derived from the Bull Canyon Formation in east-central New Mexico. Records of Triassic prosauropods from New Mexico are limited to a single vertebral centrum of Revueltian age and tracks assigned to the ichnogenera Pseudotetrasauropus and Tetrasauropus from strata of Apachean age.