A stunning new field of dinosaur tracks belonging to Acrocanthosaurus atokensis have been found in Arkansas. The 120 million-year-old 2 feet long by 1 foot wide dinosaur footprints were discovered by researchers at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
The giant three-toed dinosaur tracks cover the area of two football fields, and nothing like it has ever been discovered in the region. The Arcrocanthosaurus atokensis is the largest predator ever known to roam the earth. Project leader Stephen K. Boss said, "The quality of the tracks and the length of the trackways make this an important site."
These brief glimpses of history were likely laid down by the giant dinos during the Early Cretaceous period, which was about 120 million years ago. The interesting thing is that this discovery provided the researchers with a picture of the environment as well as the dinosaur.
Boss said, "Picture an environment much like that of the shores of the Persian Gulf today. The air temperature was hot. The water was shallow and very salty. It was a harsh environment. We're not sure what the animals were doing here, but clearly they were here in some abundance." It is good that this harsh environment has mellowed during the passing centuries.
Isn't it amazing that researchers can figure out what the animals looked like in addition to what the weather was like in Arkansas when these dinosaur tracks were made more than a million years ago? They can even tell details about the rainfall during the period. The hope is that these details about the weather and environment will be useful in predicting future weather patterns on earth.
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