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Palaeontology

Dinosaur tracks found outside NASA Goddard

February 1, 2018 | Comment icon 11 comments



Dozens of tracks were discovered. Image Credit: YouTube / NASA Goddard
100 million-year-old dinosaur and mammal tracks have been found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
The unexpected discovery was made by local dinosaur track expert Ray Stanford whose wife happens to work at the space center. He spotted the outcrop on a hill behind one of the buildings after dropping her off at work one day and decided to go and investigate.

What he ultimately unearthed was an extensive series of both mammal and dinosaur tracks - more than 70 in all - dating back over 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period.

The find offers a rare glimpse of mammals and dinosaurs interacting.

"The concentration of mammal tracks on this site is orders of magnitude higher than any other site in the world," said palaeontologist Martin Lockley from the University of Colorado, Denver.
"I don't think I've ever seen a slab this size, which is a couple of square meters, where you have over 70 footprints of so many different types. This is the mother lode of Cretaceous mammal tracks."

An analysis of the dinosaur tracks found at the site has revealed the presence of two nodosaurs, a sauropod, several small therapods and even a few pterosaurs.

"It's a time machine," said Stanford. "We can look across a few days of activity of these animals and we can picture it. We see the interaction of how they pass in relation to each other."

"This enables us to look deeply into ancient times on Earth. It's just tremendously exciting."



Source: NASA.gov | Comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Carnoferox 4 years ago
Link to the paper:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18619-w The number and diversity of tracks in such a small area is unlike anything I've seen before.
Comment icon #3 Posted by South Alabam 4 years ago
Do all the tracks match up to the era the dinosaurs should have all existed together?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Carnoferox 4 years ago
Yes they do. The tracks represent thetypical Early Cretaceous fauna in North America.
Comment icon #5 Posted by South Alabam 4 years ago
Thanks.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Brandy333 4 years ago
The first place I saw dinosaur tracks was in a shallow stream near Tarpley, a small town inthe Texas Hill Country. They were estimated to be 70 million+ years old. On our property in Utopia, Texas, which is near Tarpley, there were sea shell fossils estimated at 75 million to 250 million years old. An impression of a fish was found on a small boulder as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
Very cool and great find!. Again this shows how hot the Earth was before the ice age. If the ice age hadn't occurred we may not be here today.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Erno86 4 years ago
"Rare find shows dinosaurs interacting with mammals." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi5mNTZWoEU
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
The red shales here in New Jersey were and are continually being mined out as landscaping stones and pavers so think of what was lost.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Podo 4 years ago
Outstanding discovery. that many species wandering over the same piece of land that was so well preserved. I get all misty-eyed thinking about it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by UFOwatcher 4 years ago
If the tracks were fresh I see a new movie in the making...


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