Dinosaur tracks dating back 113m years ago discovered after severe drought

Dinosaur footprints from 113million years ago have been found on a river bed that has been left dry by severe drought conditions.

The discovery was made at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas with some of the footprints understood to belong to a seven-tonne, 15ft-tall Acrocanthosaurus species of dinosaur – an early cousin to the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Experts have also suggested that Sauroposeidon, which weighed around 44 tonnes and stood about 60ft tall, was responsible for some of the other prints.

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Park officials have posted a video on social media, showing the footprints, which measure several human hands wide on the site of the dried-up Paluxy River.

Tracks from dinosaurs, mainly ancient sauropods and theropods, can be seen all year round at the park, but the latest findings would normally be under water and filled with sediment.

Herbivore species such as Diplodocus and Brontosaurus – with their elephant-like feet – are among the dinosaurs that were classified as sauropods.

Theropods, like T-rex, meanwhile, had clawed, three-toed feet.

It is believed that the footprints date back to the mid-Cretaceous Era, when Dallas was at the shore of a sea.

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According to the Dinosaur Valley State Park website, the mud at this shoreline made the ideal consistency to preserve tracks as a result of calcium carbonate deposits from the shells of crustaceans.

"Right now, due to the very low river conditions, more tracks are now visible than under normal conditions," the park said in a comment under the video. 

"So if you are wanting to find tracks and explore that aspect of the park, it is a great time to visit!"

The US Drought Monitor reported that more than 60% of Texas was experiencing drought conditions that were in two of the most intense categories, as of last week, with the state also being subjected to severe heatwaves.


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