Drought exposes 113-million-year-old dinosaur tracks at Texas state park

Tracks were first discovered during 2022 drought conditions before rain covered them back up

Due to the excessive drought conditions this past summer, the river dried up completely in most locations, allowing for more tracks to be uncovered here in the park, said TPWD spokesperson Stephanie Salinas Garcia. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

GLEN ROSE, Texas – Newly discovered dinosaur tracks are visible once again at a Texas state park thanks to two years of drought.

The 113-million-year-old tracks were originally discovered at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose last year.

“Tracks are once again visible this year due to the drought. Researchers and volunteers have worked to clean and record more tracks at various sites around the park,” park superintendent Jeff Davis told KSAT.

Last year, a spokesperson for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told KSAT that the tracks were made by an Acrocanthosaurus — a dinosaur that stood about 15 feet tall and weighed close to seven tons.

“Sauroposeidon, the other species that left tracks behind, would be about 60 feet tall and weigh about 44 tons as an adult,” the TPWD spokesperson said.

This year’s drought conditions also revealed a different kind of dinosaur track.

“One cool find was a double track, where it appears that two theropod tracks were made, one on top of the other,” Davis told KSAT.

Dinosaur double track discovered at Dinosaur Valley State Park. (Paul Baker – LDL-Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park)

The tracks were exposed when the Paluxy River that runs through the park dried up in several areas.

TPWD said the tracks are usually underwater and commonly filled with sediment, which essentially “buries” the tracks and renders them invisible when the river is full of water.

According to park officials, being buried under layers of sediment helps protect the tracks from natural weathering and erosion.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.