Dried-up Texan river bed reveals perfectly-preserved tracks of 111-foot-long dinosaur

A three-toed track in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

Paul Baker

Around 70 new dinosaur tracks have been revealed in a dried-up riverbed in Texas.
Intense drought conditions have caused the river to dry up two years in a row.
The giant tracks are thought to belong to the Acrocanthosaurus and the Sauroposeidon. 

A series of tracks thought to belong to dinosaurs that roamed the earth 113 million years ago have been uncovered in a drought-stricken riverbed in Texas. 

Intense heat has caused new parts of the Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas, to dry up, revealing the astonishing imprints. 

A view of the dried-up river Paluxy in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

Paul Baker

There are two types. One set, with three-toed tracks, is believed to belong to an Acrocanthosaurus, a bipedal creature that grew as large as 39 feet long and could weigh up to 7.3 tons.

An artist’s impression of an acrocanthosaurus.

Getty Images

The other set, comprising wider, elephant-like tracks, is thought to be from a Sauroposeidon, a long-necked creature that walked on all fours, weighed up to 60 tons, and could stretch 111 feet from nose to tail. 

An artist’s rendering of three sauroposeidens.

Getty Images

“The Glen Rose area is a hotbed for dinosaur tracks due to it being an ancient sea coastline around 113 million years ago,” Paul Baker, retail manager for the Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park organization, told Insider.

The Paluxy River then eroded the land down to the tracks, he said — many of which, until now, have been underwater. 

In total, around 70 new tracks in the park have been uncovered in the drought, Chron reported, and a team is busy mapping them.

Three-toed tracks nearby larger ones in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

Paul Baker

Baker posted a video on Facebook of one such print being uncovered, almost perfectly formed under cracks of dried mud.

According to the US Drought Monitor, Glen Rose is currently in an area of extreme drought. “This is not normal for us. Normally, this would all be underwater,” park superintendent Jeff Davis told The Dallas Morning News

Future rains will cover the tracks over again, Davis said, so there has been a flurry of activity to document them.

A three-toed track inside a larger one in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

Paul Baker

“It’s been a ton of work,” Baker, who took the pictures, told Insider. “At times I have measured the limestone in the riverbed to be at 128 degrees, so it has not been easy.”

Baker is with the team that is midway through a process of cleaning, mapping and casting some of the finds. One of the areas, known as the Ballroom site, “is pretty much cleared off now and is a sight to see. Almost double the size from last year,” he told Insider.

A wooden ruler is roughly half the size of this dinosaur track in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

Paul Baker

It’s the second year in a row that the Paluxy has receded to reveal the wealth of footprints. In August last year, about 60 Acrocanthosaurus prints were revealed in the first drought, the BBC reported

Read the original article on Business Insider

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