Cretaceous dinosaurs in New Mexico

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew B. Heckert Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: New Mexico's most extensive fossil record of dinosaurs is from rocks of Cretaceous age. The Early Cretaceous record is confined to tracks of late Albian age, principally from northeastern NM. They are primarily of ornithopods (Caririchnium, Amblydactylus) and lesser numbers of theropods. They provide circumstantial evidence of social behavior in ornithopods and, because of the lack of sauropod tracks, suggest the extirpation of North American sauropods took place during the late Albian. New Mexico's record of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs includes a few tracksites (notably including the holotype of Tyrannosauripus from the late Maastrichtian of the Raton basin) and an extensive body fossil record from rocks of late Turonian, late Santonian, Campanian and Maastrichtian age. Highlights of this record include: (1) Zuniceratops from the late Turonian Moreno Hill Formation, the oldest North American ceratopsian with brow horns, which suggests a possible North American origin of ceratopsids;(2) hadrosaur, ceratopsian and theropod fossils from the late Santonian Crevasse Canyon Formation and early Campanian Menefee Formation that are mostly fragmentary and isolated but that indicate a need to collect further this largely unsampled interval; (3) an extensive late Campanian record from the Fruitland and Kirtland formations in the San Juan Basin that provides strong evidence of Asian-North American interchange of Campanian dinosaurs; and (4) a possible Paleocene dinosaur record from the San Juan Basin.

Additional Information

Lucas, S.G., Heckert, A.B., and Sullivan, R.M., (2000) Cretaceous dinosaurs in New Mexico. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 17 (Dinosaurs of New Mexico), p. 83-91. (ISSN 1524-4156) Archived in NC DOCKS with permission of the editor. The version of record is available at:
Language: English
Date: 2000

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