Dinosaur tracks from 113 million years ago have been uncovered in Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas.
Severe dry conditions have lowered the water level in the Paluxy riverbed to barely a trickle, baring most of the waterway’s clay riverbed. Always shallow and fairly barren, the river didn’t have much to expose, until a long trail of deep-pressed, three-toed tracks appeared.
“Most tracks that have recently been uncovered and discovered at different parts of the river in the park belong to Acrocanthosaurus. This was a dinosaur that would stand, as an adult, about 15 feet tall and close to seven tons,” park spokesperson Stephanie Salinas Garcia told CNN in an email.
Typically, the tracks are under one to two feet of water and filled with silt, which makes them hard to find.
“Being able to find these discoveries and experience new dinosaur tracks is always an exciting time at the park!” Garcia added.
When the river fills again, so will the dinosaur tracks. Being covered by sediment will help protect them from erosion.
Dinosaur Valley State Park, as its name suggests, is a destination for fossil lovers. In other stretches of the rivers and riverbanks nearby, visitors can also see the prints of Sauroposeidon, over four times as large and the tallest dinosaur we currently know, larger cousin to the Brachiasaurus.
The park offers a dinosaur tracks app for tourists to walk in the path of the ancient giants and identify what they see.
Drought-lowered water tables all over the world have been revealing surprising finds, from human remains in Lake Mead to dozens of still-armed German warships in the Danube in Germany. While the discoveries are exciting, we should all, perhaps, take heed of another thing to surface in Germany; a “hunger stone,” set deep in the Elbe river. It was placed there during a drought in 1616 that led to massive famine. The words carved into it read “If you see me, weep.”
Photo: a fossilized dinosaur track at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas, with a U.S. dollar bill nearby for size comparison. Credit: Shutterstock