Footsteps in Pre-History

More than 110 million years ago, the area surrounding Glen Rose Texas, outside Fort Worth, was teaming with animals so phenomenally enormous as to be almost unbelievable. Lizards the size of tour busses chewed leaves from the tops of trees, eluded vicious predators nearly their own size and stomped through the soil, leaving some of the most pristine examples of footprint fossils available in the Western Hemisphere.

The footprints were originally discovered by locals in the late1800s, but the site became noteworthy thanks to the diligence of R.T. Bird’s research. Today, Glen Rose’s Dinosaur Valley State park allows visitors to get up close and personal with the tracks.

Alerted to their existence by a local, we had to see this for ourselves. We drove to Dinosaur Valley State Park and paid $5 entrance fee. We parked the RV and hiked first to tracks located on a rock cliff covered by a few inches of water. They were a little difficult to find, but thankfully we ran into a couple other explorers who pointed us in the right direction.

The tracks were approximately 15-23 inches long and featured three toes, common for the predatory two-footed dinosaurs of that time period. These particular tracks and others found later were made by the ferocious Acrocanthosaurus, a 38-foot-long predator that hunted in the region.

Further down the path we were met by a roped-off set of much larger, saucer-shaped tracks each larger than 36 inches in diameter. These tracks were made by the official Texas state dinosaur – the 50-foot long, 20-ton Paluxysaurus.

The park is not without controversy however, which we didn’t know until after. Apparently, there’s a segment of the park where “twin tracks” have been found. These tracks allegedly show human footprints alongside these behemoths. Creationists have used the “twin tracks” as evidence that evolution is bunk. You see, according to the “geological time scale” humans and dinosaurs could never have lived together. The man who originally made the claims that he had found these tracks, later admitted it was in fact a hoax. But, of course, you can still see them as evidence in the Creation Evidence Museum, and see their perspective on the carvings, if that’s your thing.

Definitely worth a little detour if you’re in the Fort Worth area. Click here for their website.