Thursday, September 28, 2023

New footprints found at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose

If anything good can come from a drought, it is the giving of volunteers Friends of Dinosaur Valley the opportunity to search new terrain for evidence of dinosaurs.

“Drought is a scary thing, of course for everyone, and it’s usually not a pleasant thing, but there are positives,” said Jeff Davis, superintendent of Dinosaur Valley State Park. “And for us, the river fell dry and gave us the opportunity to expose footprints that had not been exposed before.”

As water levels recede in the Paluxy River, volunteers and researchers are working to uncover and catalog footprints in unexplored areas.

Independent researcher Glenn Kuban said the droughts of the past two summers have given way to places they’ve never observed before.

Davis said one of the recently discovered footprint sites has between 70 and 80 new footprints that people have never seen before.

“This is, you know, a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Paul Baker, a volunteer at Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park. “And even when they’re outside in 110-degree weather, sweating, you can see the smiles on their faces and they really love it.”

Kuban said they will call one of the new areas “the dance hall” because there are many different dinosaur footprints going in all directions that look like an old dance floor.

Sauropods, tetrapods and duck-billed dinosaurs left footprints in the ancient river, which turned into stone.

“It was a huge tidal flat during the early Cretaceous, about 113 million years ago,” Kuban said. “And when the tide recedes, it probably exposes thousands of wet chalky muds. And the dinosaurs come out, leaving their tracks, building more layers. And over time, the chalky mud gradually turned into limestone.”

Volunteers are now working to create molds for the new paths before they are covered again by rain, gravel and mud.

Australian scientists revealed this week that they have identified dinosaur bones found in Queensland as belonging to Australotitan cooperensis, the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia and one of the 15 largest in the world.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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