A set of dinosaur tracks were recently found in the aptly named Dinosaur Valley State Park, which is situated in the ‘Dinosaur Capital of Texas,’ also known as Glen Rose, Texas. The city is nicknamed so because 113 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the area. The proof is in the dinosaur footprints that have been and continue to be found in the Paluxy River riverbed.
The most recent tracks were theropod footprints, and were only discovered because of ongoing drought conditions in the area that have caused the Paluxy River to shrink over the past few weeks. The county that the park is located in is currently under an ‘exceptional drought,’ according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.
A video released on Facebook showed some of the theropod tracks, with some commentary behind what we were seeing. The person behind the camera explained that tracks belonged to theropods, which have a distinct three-toed pattern. They also said that we don’t normally see the tracks because they are usually underwater.
Markings can usually be found in Dinosaur Valley State Park, and are from two different species, theropods and sauropods. Theropod tracks as mentioned above have a three-toed pattern, and are smaller than sauropod footprints. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website states that it is believed to have been made by Arocanthosaurus. The other tracks that can be found in the park are sauropod tracks, which are described to be large elephant-like tracks and suspected to have been made by Sauroposeidons.
Tracks were first revealed back in 1908 after a flood in the area, the following year they were found by a boy exploring the Paluxy River. Then, in 1937, a man who was collecting fossils for the American Museum of Natural History went to Glen Rose to see the theropod tracks and found sauropod tracks. He also found ‘a near-perfect trackway of multiple steps of multiple animals,’ according to Dinosaur Valley State Park’s website. Then finally in 1972 Dinosaur Valley State Park opened with 1,587 acres of land and a mission to preserve the dinosaur tracks, as well as allow people to learn more about them.
If you’re not searching for dinosaur tracks the park also has hiking trails, picnic and camping sites, and guided tours on horseback. The park is a National Natural Landmark as designated by the National Park Service because of the amazing display of dinosaur tracks.