The tracks found after the water levels of a river lowered belonged to a species that has not been recorded in the area.
The terrestrial configuration has not always remained as we know it today. Millions of years ago, what could have been outdoors, today is completely covered by water. This is why it is so complicated to find the greatest treasures of prehistory because they are not always in plain sight. Recently a severe drought caused a river in Texas to drop and impressive dinosaur footprints of colossal size emerged from the sediment.
Dinosaur Valley State Park, located near Glen Rose, Texas is an essential setting for paleontology. Its limestone, sandstone, and shale rocks are known to date back to the Early Cretaceous period beginning 113 million years ago.
Among its territories, important dinosaur fossils have been found, mainly of a species called Acrocanthosaurus, which was not particularly as large as other reptiles of that time.
According to park spokesperson Stephanie Salinas Garcia, most of the footprints found in the Valley of the Dinosaurs and in different parts of the Paluxy River belong to Acrocanthosaurus. According to Garcia, these reptiles reached about 4.5 meters in height as adults and weighed up to almost seven tons.
However, the new discovery, which was made possible only by the drought in the river, points to another, much larger species. Due to the extreme heat waves that North America has been experiencing, the water sources have been dropping their levels, revealing new clues about the geological past.
Drought reveals impressive footprints of a colossal dinosaur
During the latest drought in Texas, the Pauxy dropped its water level so drastically that it exposed new prints that can only belong to Sauroposeidon. The enormous reptile, which lived some 115 million years ago, measured about 18 meters in height, a considerable size, and weighed about 44 tons in its adult stage.
Under normal temperature conditions, the footprints would never have been exposed, however, Texas has seen its thermometers rise to 90ºF. In that sense, the river has suffered the ravages by significantly lowering its water levels and exposing the sediment in which the tracks are imprinted.
“Being able to find these discoveries and learn about new dinosaur tracks is always an exciting time at the park,” said García.
The park spokeswoman also explained that although the footprints were only visible for a short period of time, they provoked the amazement of the paleontologists. In addition, they sparked excitement that new tracks could be found in the valley. He also assured that “Dinosaur Valley State Park will continue to protect these 113-million-year-old tracks not only for present generations but for future generations as well.”
Whenever these types of treasures are discovered, excitement is always present because it is impressive to think that such gigantic creatures once walked the same paths that we humans now walk.
Story originally published in EcoosferaPodría interesarte