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Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir

Elephant Butte is named for its supposed resemblance to the back of an elephant. The Rio Grande was dammed here, for recreation and agriculture, lessening the downstream flow from a Rio Bravo to a foot deep. Even though the Rio Concho joins the Rio Grande downstream, this water is taken early enough to run it dry at the Gulf of Mexico.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was discovered nearby, but its exact location is hidden to prevent plunder. Other paleontological sites nearby include fossil trackways of theropods, and numerous invertebrate fossils of the time, hundreds of millions of years before the theropods, when New Mexico was covered by the sea.