Should I post pics of megafauna rubbings?

Title almost says it all… I hesitate because these rubs are impossible to link to any particular species: in our region possible rubbers might be mammoths, giant bison, gomphotheres, ground sloths, etc. OTOH, the rubs are evidence of activity in the natural world, and unless one knows what to look for, it’s easy to walk right by them – so a post might help people to notice such sites.

Whattaya think, community?


I’m curious to know more about these rubs, not having heard about them! However, iNaturalist observations are intended to show recent evidence of organisms (within about the last 100 years) so it’s not really within the intended scope. You could post them as mammals and give a thumbs-down for “Recent evidence of an organism” but it might not be a very effective way to give visibility to these sites, as they’ll get lost among all the other mammal observations.


@deboas – Thanks! That was fast!

Definitely NOT activity in the last 100 years. But for those interested, I’ll make a topic in the forum and post the info there.


Those observations will be casual, so decide for yourself.


You could add tags or create an observation field called “megafauna rubbings” to make these casual observations easier to find for people who might be interested in them :)


Is there a way to do this other than using tags? Like, how does one create a new observation field?

Here’s the link to all the observation fields:

And here’s where to create a new one!

Options for the field should be separated by “|”, the horizontal line that’s on the same key as "" above the enter button. (it took me forever to figure out that’s what was required)


Well, seeing as some of those taxa are not on iNaturalist (I just checked), they wouldn’t be able to be identified to species anyway. Your Gompotheriidae would be stuck at the taxonomically unranked Elephantida, and your giant ground sloths comprise several families of Folivora – and two users with the usernames Mylodon and Mylodont.

All three species of Mammuthus are on iNaturalist, though, and so is Bison latifrons, so there is that…

I was tempted to put some therapod tracks I’ve seen in UT and CO after reading this, but they’re both common ichnogenera that aren’t on the taxon list, so I’d have to leave them at the suborder level.

Not sure it’s worth it tbh

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Things can always be added.

If you feel like doing it, I say go for it. Some people will be into it and some people won’t. If you’re the one doing it, it really only matters if you’re into it. And are okay with it being at casual/marking the DQA correctly. I’ve added fossils before but not a ton because I know that’s not the ideal upload for the site. I can guarantee there’s a lot of people who are curious to see what observations of dinosaurs and fossils are on the site though, and are probably jazzed to see that there are some. I think as long as nobody is bulk uploading tons of them, and ones that are uploaded are marked correctly in the DQA, it does no harm.

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Thanks to all who have posted to this topic.

My personal solution is to post a thread in the forum, but not to post the pictures as an observation. deboas clarified my thinking: the rubbings are not indicative of the current biosphere of the region, so while some may be interested in evidence of the Pleistocene fauna, it’s not appropriate for iNaturalist.

That’s just me.

If others post observations of fossils and such, I will look with great interest! I mean, my username is permiandon …


I appreciate your showing the photo of the rock that was a rubbing post. I didn’t fully get what you were talking about until then.


I agree that a couple of prehistoric observations here and there won’t be an issue. However, I would not that staff have asked that extinct prehistoric taxa generally not be added to iNat’s taxonomy.


Personally, all data on animal activity is useful for research purposes to someone. I know a lot of scientists where this is a major part of their study.

The exact location depends on your keyboard. On my laptop it’s on the same key as the backslash. But yeah, it should usually be in the upper right somewhere, at least on English language keyboards. It’s called a “pipe” or “vertical bar”.

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