Dancing With the Dinos

21 10 2008

Geologists say they have discovered prehistoric animal tracks so densely packed on a 3/4-acre site that they’re calling it a “dinosaur dance floor.”

The site along the Arizona-Utah state line offers a rich new set of clues about the lives of dinosaurs 190 million years ago. The footprints could provide fodder for researchers trying to understand dinosaurs that survived in what many considered a “vast, dry, uninhabitable desert,” said Marjorie Chan, professor of geology at the University of Utah and one of the authors of a new study of the site.

In some places, there are a dozen footprints in a square yard. Tail drag marks were also found.

“It was a place that attracted a crowd, kind of like a dance floor,” Chan said.

Geologist Winston Seiler with some of the dinosaur tracks he identified for his thesis as a University of Utah masters degree student. The impressions once were thought to be potholes.

Geologist Winston Seiler with some of the dinosaur tracks he identified for his thesis as a University of Utah master's degree student. The impressions once were thought to be potholes.

A study identifying the dinosaur track site was published in the October issue of the international paleontology journal Palaios. Chan is senior author of the study, which was conducted for a master’s degree thesis by former graduate student Winston Seiler, who now works at Chevron Inc., in Bakersfield, Calif.

Seiler says the range of track shapes and sizes reveals at least four dinosaur species gathered at the watering hole, with the animals ranging from adults to youngsters.

“The different size tracks [1 inch to 20 inches long] may tell us that we are seeing mothers walking around with babies,” he says.

Researchers identified four different kinds of tracks in the rock but haven’t determined the specific species that left them behind.

Some of the footprints – once thought to be potholes formed by erosion – measure 16 inches across and have three toes and a heel. Others are smaller and more circular.

Read the complete AP story at here.

If scientific data does not convince you that dinosaurs had a dance floor, this video should present enough evidence for anyone.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: