Hikers discover New Mexico’s first Jurassic crocodile fossil

New Mexico

SAN YSIDRO, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of hikers stumbled across the first Jurassic crocodile fossil ever found in New Mexico.

Bob Chesebrough and his two sons found the fossil last September while hiking in the Ojito Wilderness near San Ysidro. They sent a picture of the fossil to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, which later confirmed it was part of a skull from a 150-million-year-old crocodile.

Paleontologists say this is a groundbreaking discovery for New Mexico.

“I would’ve guessed crocodiles lived here, but until you get a fossil, you really don’t know that they lived here,” Dr. Spencer Lucas said. “So we know these animals were living in this river basin covering much of northern New Mexico.”

Dr. Lucas will study and examine the fossil before it’s featured in any exhibit.

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