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The Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals of New York


Sadly no dinosaurs have ever been discovered in New York--but that doesn't mean the Empire State was completely bereft of prehistoric life, two examples of which are listed below. (See an interactive map of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals in the United States.)

1. Various Dinosaur Footprints

It's not a well-known fact, but various dinosaur footprints have been discovered near the town of Blauvelt, in New York's Rockland County (not too far from New York City). These tracks date to the late Triassic period, about 200 million years ago, and include some tantalizing evidence for roving packs of Coelophysis (a dinosaur best known for its prevalence in far-off New Mexico).


2. Eurypterus

A little over 400 million years ago, during the Silurian period, much of North America was submerged under water. The official state fossil of New York, Eurypterus was a type of marine invertebrate known as a sea scorpion, and was one of the most feared undersea predators before the evolution of sharks and giant marine reptiles.

3. American Mastodon

New York State Museum
In 1866, during the construction of a mill in upstate New York, workers discovered the near-complete remains of a five-ton American Mastodon. The "Cohoes Mastodon," as it has become known, testifies to the fact that these prehistoric elephants once roamed the expanse of New York in thunderous herds (probably alongside their close Pleistocene contemporary, the Woolly Mammoth).
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