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Glen Rose Dinosaur Tracks

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Texas Memorial Museum thanks Tokyo Electron America and BP for their generous support of our “Save the Dinosaur Tracks” educational programming!

 

The Glen Rose Dinosaur Tracks are closed for repairs until further notice.

TMM’s dinosaur tracks were collected in 1940 from the bed of the Paluxy River in what is now Dinosaur Valley State Park, near Glen Rose, Texas. Dr. Elias H. Sellards, director of the Texas Memorial Museum (TMM), and Barnum Brown, a paleontologist with the AMNH, agreed to a joint excavation federally funded by the Works Project Administration (WPA). Roland T. Bird, a fossil collector with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), supervised the excavation team, which removed a large portion of the trackway for each institution.

The upper section of the trackway was transported to TMM, where it was reassembled and housed in a small building just north of the museum, where it remains on exhibit. Two sets of tracks are preserved in TMM’s trackway slab: distinct three-toed tracks made by a theropod dinosaur, and larger, rounded tracks made by a sauropod dinosaur. The theropod tracks converge on the sauropod tracks and one of the theropod’s left tracks is missing—leading R. T. Bird to hypothesize that the theropod attacked the sauropod. We will never know for sure, but it does appear that the theropod was at least following the sauropod!

Unfortunately, TMM’s dinosaur tracks are deteriorating. Their exhibit building is not climate-controlled and the tracks were installed on top of mortar and soil. These conditions have lead to the cyclic growth and movement of salts through the slab, causing cracking and flaking of the surfaces in and around the tracks.

 

To make a secure online donation to the “Save the Dinosaur Tracks” campaign, go to www.givetnsc.org.