News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Font size: +

Digital Digits: Dino Footprint Secrets Revealed

Digital Digits: Dino Footprint Secrets Revealed
Our Glen Rose Dino Tracks get a mention in this research on using computer modeling to better understand fossil dinosaur tracks.

A computer model of a three-toed dinosaur track. (Credit: Dr. Peter L. Falkingham, University of Manchester).
digitaldinotrack-350


This guy from the University of Manchester and some of his scientists buddies used computer modeling to show that dinosaurs only created lasting footprints if the soil conditions were just right, and that it depended entirely on the animal's weight. He dubbed it the "Goldilocks Effect" because conditions needed to have been "just right."

It means that dinosaur track sites, like the one in Paluxy River, Texas where our Glen Rose Dinosaur Tracks came from, could have hosted a much larger number of dinos and other animals.

In fact, this article on Science Daily states:
In Paluxy River, site of one of the most famous sets of dinosaur footprints which seem to show a sauropod being chased by a carnivorous theropod, there are only footprints recording large dinosaurs.

And from the research paper itself:
Both the theropod and sauropod exceeded the bearing capacity of the surface mud, and indented deep tracks until supported by firmer substrate layers beneath the surface. However, the depth of the soft surface mud may have been too great for smaller animals to safely traverse while leaving tracks, resulting in the formation and subsequent preservation only of the largest animals present.

They are speaking of the very tracks that you can see everyday on campus at the Texas Memorial Museum!

And the tracks are actually in bad shape. The folks at the Texas Natural Science Center are aiming to save them.

This post is part of our blog, Extracts.
What It Takes to Join the Military
Health IT Program Gets New Home In Hackerman Build...

Comments

 
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 23 September 2017

Captcha Image