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Ichnites Site in Coahuila Undergo Maintenance Thanks to Temporary Employment Program

GENERAL ZEPEDA, COAHUILA.- The paleontologic deposit located in General Zepeda, Coahuila, where more than 200 footprints of dinosaurs that lived 72 million years ago are conserved, is object of a cleaning and maintenance program with the support of the Temporary Employment Program (PET).

Thanks to the scheme developed by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL), 148 million MXP have been invested on the attention of the site in Coahuila where until now, 207 footprints of herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period are registered.

Paleontologist Felisa Aguilar Arellano, responsible of the “Las Aguilas Dinosaur Ichnites Site” Project informed that the maintenance tasks conducted since June 2010 have focused in reinforcement of the contention rim facing the rain season.

This is an open site where paleontological vestiges are on the soil, making important the cleaning and maintenance work carried on here, declared the INAH specialist, adding that the program will generate 2,726 temporary posts among population of the zone.

The wooden corridor created to protect ichnites from erosion caused by visitors will be reinforced, and the pedestrian and vehicle accesses undergo maintenance too.

“Fortunately, there was no harm in the site due to Alex hurricane, but we noticed that the retaining edge was designed correctly, but it has some sections that must be reinforced”, commented the paleontologist.

The 5,000 square meters paleontologic site was adapted for public visit in 2009, based on a project elaborated by inhabitants and the CONAFOR (Forest National Committee) and presented to INAH in 2008.

The Institute explored the deposit, and devoted to design the management scheme for the site that includes the conservation lines as well as research to know the real potential of the site.

Dimensions of the ichnites (footprints) vary between 12 and 48 centimeters long and are as wide as 60 centimeters. “The great amount of prints has allowed to study locomotion of both species; although evidence show they used the inferior limbs to move but also used the upper to balance”, indicated the researcher from Coahuila INAH Center.

“By its morphology, footsteps are attributed to 2 different species of dinosaurs: one carnivorous named Ornithomimus and an herbivorous one of the Hadrosaurus type that might have reached up to 8 meter heights”.

Aguilar Arellano added that in the deposit have been discovered ichnites of tortoise shells, fish vertebrae, shark teeth, Turriiella shells as well as imprints of the dinosaurs’ skin.

Finally, the researcher referred that INAH continues exploring the site as well as a project to create a catalogue with the details of each element found, with the aim of determining the place it has in relation with equal elements in other parts on Mexico and worldwide.

Mexico | National Institute of Anthropology and History | Felisa Aguilar Arellano | Temporary Employment Program | Coahuila |

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