More than 200 dinosaur tracks and uncountable fossils of different Prehistoric species that lived more than 72 million years ago have been located by specialists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in southwest Coahuila, in a paleontological deposit that will be open to public visit in October 2009.

Paleontologist Felisa Aguilar Arellano from Coahuila INAH Center, responsible of the “Las Aguilas Dinosaur Ichnites Site” Project, informed that until now 207 footprints of herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs, which could have reached up to 8 meters height, have been registered.

Ichnites of turtle’s shells, fish’s vertebrae, shark’s teeth, Turriitella genus winkles and clams, as well as dinosaur’s skin tracks have been discovered.

“Findings have been located within a 5,000 square meters range, already limited by INAH, but we consider the geographic area where they are registered could extend for several kilometers”, mentioned the paleontologist.

By its features and the impossibility of moving the fossils, this site may be considered unique in Mexico; preliminary studies reveal that they correspond to the Cretaceous period.

Aguilar Arellano declared that the presence of turtle, shark, fish, winkle and clam fossils determine the limits between marine and terrestrial environments.

Exploration and register in the site known as Las Aguilas, in General Cepeda municipality began in February 2009; in the first stage, 207 fossilized tracks have been registered with sizes that fluctuate between 12 and 18 centimeters, and a width of up to 60 centimeters.

“The most important chore to present, is to preserve and protect them from natural agents, because they are exposed to weather”, manifested the paleontologist, commenting that as a first measure to safeguard this natural heritage, Porvenir de Jalpa community and Comision Nacional Forestal-CONAFOR (Forest National Committee) have built a wooden corridor that runs through part of the 500 meters area where fossils were found. Areas exposed to rain have been covered as well.

First paleontological findings took place in 2003, but inhabitants know the vestiges since the 1940’s decade as water pools.

In 2008 the community and CONAFOR created a project called “Dinosaur Tracks”, presented to INAH in the same year. Additionally to conducting exploration, the Institute has designed the site’s management program, which includes conservation and research at the paleontological deposit that might be the largest in Mexico, declared the expert.

Habilitation for public visit includes delimitation of the polygonal protection area; ichnites will be appreciated by visitors without being harmed. The site will have controlled visits, and the community is responsible of surveillance.

Finally, the Coahuila INAH Center researcher commented that in January 2010 and as part of the second research period, a new archaeological exploration season will be conducted; in the medium term, a site museum will be developed.