113 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tracks Uncovered In Texas Drought

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Tracks of 113 million-year-old dinosaurs found during the Texas drought

The extended Texas drought has revealed an amazing discovery: a window into the ancient world. Dinosaur traces discovered in Dinosaur Valley State Park date back an astounding 113 million years along a dry riverbed. These footprints provide an engrossing glimpse into the lives of these long-extinct giants; they had been hidden since 2000.

One of the previously discovered theropod dinosaur footprints discovered at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. Image credit: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park is well known for having a large number of dinosaur tracks, which draws tourists who are anxious to investigate the ancient remains for themselves. But a fresh set of tracks that had escaped human notice have surfaced as a result of the recent drought. Thorough work by park rangers like Paul Baker and specialists like Glen Kuban has been crucial in cataloguing and charting these recently discovered gems.

Fascinating results have been obtained from the park’s ongoing efforts to clean and study three important sites: B.P. Baker, Deino, and the Lone Ranger Trail. Every location has unveiled new tracks, but the Lone Ranger Trail has the largest collection. These traces are thought to have belonged to an Acrocanthosaurus, a powerful bipedal carnivore that resembled the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex, according to experts. This beast, standing many feet tall and weighing several tonnes, left a lasting impression on the ancient terrain.

The enormous Acrocanthosaurus lived in what is now North America some 113 to 110 million years ago. Image credit: Famille Wielosz-Caron/Lida Xing

 

The Paluxy River’s drying has caused the normally submerged and sediment-covered footprints to resurface, giving scientists and park authorities a unique opportunity to examine these ancient imprints. But since weather patterns are erratic, rushing floods after a downpour could bury the tracks in sediment once more. Ironically, the delicate tracks are preserved by this natural cycle, which keeps them from deteriorating due to weather.

he footprints of the carnivorous dinosaur called Acrocanthosaurus, revealed on the bed of the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas during the August 2022 drought. Image credit: Paul Baker/Friends of Dinosaur Valley

 

The extensive collection of dinosaur tracks in the park includes both the Acrocanthosaurus and the long-necked Sauroposeidon. These footprints had previously been recorded by researchers in an attempt to learn more about the interactions between these two species throughout the Mesozoic era.

Volunteers help clean and preserve 113 million-year-old dinosaur footprints revealed in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas after months of drought. (Paul Baker/Friends of Dinosaur Valley )

These 113 million-year-old dinosaur footprints are a reminder of the amazing amount of information that is stored beneath our feet. The ongoing drought has given us a brief window into a time when massive reptiles once roamed the planet. The fascinating past of our planet can only be pieced together by the diligent work of ardent enthusiasts and the cooperative efforts of researchers and park administrators. We can only be amazed at the aeons these footprints have patiently waited to share their story with us once more as the forces of nature gradually rebury them.

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