PTEROSAUR TRACKS, PHOTOGRAMMETRIC ICHNOLOGY, AND MANAGING ICHNOLOGICAL RESOURCES ON FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS
In the 1970s, abundant Late Jurassic pterosaur tracksites discovered in central Wyoming on Federal Public Lands were some of the first pterosaur tracksites to be recorded following Stokes’ initial documentation (1957) of a pterosaur trackway in Arizona. In particular, the exposures of the Sundance and Morrison formations around Alcova and Seminoe reservoirs contain hundreds of tracks and trackways of the ichnogenus Pteraichnus and may represent some of the highest concentrations of pterosaur tracks anywhere in the world. The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) mandates the protection and interpretation of these scientifically significant paleontological resources. PRPA requires the management of paleontological resources on public lands using scientific principles and expertise and authorization is required for any scientific study of ichnological material, as well as for molding and casting. BLM is actively developing plans for inventorying, monitoring, and scientific and educational use of ichnological resources. Photogrammetric ichnology not only supports PRPA, but also is being used to help unravel ichnological complexities to provide a unique glimpse of the paleoecology, paleobiology, and paleoethology of these pterosaur communities.