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The rock

What is this? Can you see fossils?

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Fossil elements highlighted

The fossils are highlighted within red circles and along the yellow dashed line. Can you guess what they are now?

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The fossils are elements of a fossil trackway of an ancient, lizard-like reptile. The red-circled marks are footprints. The the yellow line is a tail drag mark. This fossil was a trackway of a small reptile about 15 inches long. It is currently the oldest known reptile fossil in North America. The trackway consists of a series of footprints with a groove down the axis between footprint pairs. The groove is the track left by a dragging tail. The toe marks on the footprints come to a point, so it is thought these tracks were made by a four-legged animal with claws, such as a reptile. If the tracks were made by an amphibian, they would not have claw marks. Similar trackways have been found in surrounding states, and more are likely to be found in Kentucky. The trackway shows that reptiles certainly existed in the area that is now Kentucky in the past. Also, reptile fossils are well known in other coal fields. There is always the possiblility that more reptile fossils will be found in Kentucky's two coal fields.

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