Dinosaur tracks 113 million years old have been exposed in Texas, after ongoing drought dried up parts of the river covering them.
The tracks at the bottom of the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas, belong to a dinosaur called Acrocanthosaurus, a seven ton, two legged carnivore with small arms that looked similar to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, but smaller.
“It’s been a pretty bad drought,” Jeff Davis, superintendent at Dinosaur Valley State Park, told Reuters on Wednesday (August 24). “So the river, the Paluxy River that runs through the center of the park, has dried up and left us high and dry, which is not a great thing. But the good thing about it is that it exposes dinosaur tracks that either haven’t been seen before or tracks that have not been seen in years or sometimes decades. ”
Dinosaurs made the prints as they roamed muddy areas over 100 million years ago. Shortly after formation, they were covered over with sediment due to a flood, Davis said, which later turned into limestone and protected the prints. Once exposed, the prints start to degrade.
“It’s kind of a double edged sword, because without the river, we wouldn’t be able to see them. We wouldn’t know they were there. But once they’re exposed, that’s when they start to degrade,” Davis said.
Since mid-July, more than 93% of Texas has been in drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. As of mid-August, more than 26% of Texas was at the highest level, characterized by widespread loss of pastures and crops as well as water shortages.