A series of dinosaur tracks dating back more than 113 million years has been uncovered at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas due to severe drought. The river running through the park has completely dried up, allowing the prehistoric footprints, which appear in a large cluster, to be seen clearly. While the reason we can finally see these is both sad and very concerning, the dinosaur tracks themselves are incredibly interesting.
- The footprints are usually hidden beneath water and mud. A post on the Dinosaur Valley State Park Facebook page reveals that the reason it’s so rare to see these dinosaur tracks is that they are generally found at the bottom of a lake, and the sheer volume of water and mud completely covers them.
- This isn’t the first time these dinosaur tracks have been visible. As one commenter shared, they saw them as a kid. The user shared that the footprints are preserved in the Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation in the river bed. Others chimed in revealing they too had seen the tracks at some point over the years.
- The dinosaur tracks are believed to have belonged to theropods. During the Jurassic period, therapods were meat-eating dinosaurs that ranged in size from “the crow-sized Microraptor to the massive T-Rex.” These particular tracks are said to have belonged to two different species. “Most tracks that have recently been uncovered and discovered at different parts of the river in the park belong to Acrocanthosaurus,” park spokesperson Stephanie Salinas Garcia told CNN. “This was a dinosaur that would stand, as an adult, about 15 feet tall and (weigh) close to seven tons.” They also discovered tracks from the Sauroposeido, a 60ft tall dinosaur that is said to have weighed around 44 tons. Pretty cool!
- These prints will likely (or at least hopefully) be covered again soon. Despite how interesting and educational it is to see these prints, the fact that drought is making that possible is a serious problem. Here’s hoping the river fills up again soon.