Thursday, August 20, 2020

Update on A Newly Exposed Trackway Along the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon

Artists rendition of how the new trackway was created (Figure 8 in the paper). Art by Emily Waldman.

I have posted a second addendum to my original post from December 11, 2016. A new paper describes this trackway in detail! See the addendum here.

CNN also picked up the story here.


  1. That artist's illustration for me doesn't make sense. Same material, wet and muddy sediment makes more sense, but an endless dunescape with wind blowing makes absolutely no sense. Large animal in need of equally large quantiy of food to sustain itself in a desolate environment where life appears to be lacking is equally difficult to believe. Much like herds of giant Mammoths in a landscape with nothing but ice is equally troubling. It's the one thing about Science where we are supposed to take it on blind faith that their spun narrative equates truth somehow because a consensus feels good about it. Nobody was there, but still real world logic should make some question the storytelling. *sigh*

  2. Chaparral Earth - I am not involved with the research specifically. But it sounds as if you are questioning the interpretation that the setting of the trackway was in an exclusively sandy dune field. First, the trackway was preserved in sandstone and not mudstone. The sandstone displayed all characteristics of eolian dunes. But they were not large dunes but low-slung dunes on a coastal plain. Plenty of mudstone is nearby in the rocks to suggest that water was not far away. Read the whole paper (provided in my post) to understand the methods used to arrive at their conclusions. Perhaps the artist could have placed the trackway in a wetter setting. But the presence of dunes does not negate nearby water and/or things to eat.


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