Dry spell uncovers Dinosaur footprints

TEXAS – A harsh drought has revealed uncontaminated Dinosaur footprints in Glen Rose, Texas after the Paluxy River receded to new lows.

Glen Kuban has been laboring on the tracks in Dinosaur Valley State Park to the extent of 40 years and says, “The river was bone-dry for the first time in many years... This trail here is almost never dry. There's always big pools of mud and water,” MSN news quoted him as saying.

The newly unmasked footprints within the park were created by two species: a sauropod named Sauroposeidon and a theropod dubbed Acrocanthosaurus.

Mixed footprints from various dinosaur species contribute “puzzle pieces” regarding how those species interact with each other. One pair of tracks from a lone dinosaur may provide scientists with significant characteristics, such as if it was quadrupedal (meaning it walked on all 4 limbs) or bipedal (meaning it walked on 2 limbs), According to Wikipedia.

Dinosaur Valley Park superintendent Jeff Davis said, according to MSN, “Most of the tracks that folks are really excited about right now are from a dinosaur called Acrocanthosaurus... It's kind of a mouthful, but it means high-spined lizard”.

Acrocanthosaurus resembled Tyrannosaurus Rex and weighed 7 to 8 tons. At one time, he prowled this region of Texas, which Mr. Davis thinks was a seashore a long time ago.

Park employees kept up-to-date reports on the withering stream bed over the summer, observed the Dino footprints, and then queried volunteers to aid the clean-up.

Between 40 and 50 volunteers from Friends of Dinosaur Valley, the Dallas Paleontological Society, the Texas Master Naturalists, and various other parties helped to tenderly unseal the steps.

MSN quoted Mr. Davis as saying, “The volunteers have been absolutely indispensable in this process... We have a small staff at the park. We don't have enough to operate the park and go out and do regular track cleaning like we might like to. When something like this happens and a big crew comes in and helps us out, it's much appreciated”.

The task must be completed rapidly because the tracks will be hidden again by the river just as soon as the rain comes.

Glen Kuban said, “There's a chance we could get the whole thing cleaned up, this long trail... and it's special for several reasons. It's perhaps the longest existing dinosaur trail in North America,” according to MSN.

Travelers from across America are altering their journey agendas to take part in this unique prospect.

Wikipedia stated that unique circumstances are necessary to secure a footprint left in soft ground (as in impressionable sedimentary inserts or alluvial plains). An alluvial plain is formed by the periodic deposits of dirt and sediment as a result of river flooding.

UC Museum of Paleontology says fossilized footsteps don't continually symbolize the primary dinosaur trail and numerous varieties of petrified steps can be created from one step.

A “true track” is the imprint that remains when a dinosaur walks in soft sedimentation. Skin imprints and indentations of dinosaur scales can sometimes be left in accurate tracks. Coatings of Earth under the actual trail the dinosaur walked on are altered as well.

“Undertracks” are made by the stress of the dinosaur's weight. True tracks are rich in detail versus undertracks. A “natural cast” is a true track that has become tough as rock or lithified. Natural casts are similar to three-dimensional duplicates of a dinosaur's foot. They can retain illuminating features regarding skin depressions very much like true tracks.

“Track infills” are impressions in the stratified earth situated on top of the steps that also became overflowed. Similar to undertracks, track infills hold less structural peculiarity. Several track infills can be utilized to identify fossil steps that have not been entirely uncovered from erosion as well as assist paleontologists locate true tracks.

Dinosaur Valley State Park is commemorating its 50-year celebration this year. Because of the drought and warm temperatures, it had been a sluggish summer season but the uncovered footprints have helped to revitalize the site.

MSN quoted Jeff Davis saying, “That excitement you feel over dinosaurs, I think most kids have that...Some of us lose it as adults, and some of us lose it a little less. I think this park is a great place to find that again if you've lost it, or to enjoy it if you still experience that awe and that wonder at dinosaurs.

Dino Tracks 1.jpg

Last edited by a moderator: