Dinosaur Tracks Back Noah’s Flood
Made in mud or wet sand long ago
by Brian Thomas, M.S., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.
There’s nothing quite like seeing firsthand dinosaur tracks that were made in mud or wet sand long ago. But how long ago were they made, and how did they form? No process quite like that happens today. We recently photographed similar tracks made in similar sediments from sites in the American South and West. What links them together? Did these dinosaur tracks really form according to the evolution-based story printed on the state-sponsored placards we saw at some of the sites? First some facts, then some answers.
Tracks near San Antonio, Texas
At Government Canyon State Natural Area, large three-toed theropod tracks are embedded in limestone and match the clawed feet of a 38-foot-long Acrocanthosaurus—aT. rex look-alike with a small head crest. The limestone layer directly above it contains sauropod tracks assigned to a teenage Sauroposeidon, a long-neck dinosaur about 55 feet long. Scientists use the size and spacing of the footprints to estimate animal sizes. These sets of tracks occur near the top of the Glen Rose Limestone, close to the southernmost exposures of this particular limestone bed.
Tracks near Glen Rose, Texas
Two hundred miles north of Government Canyon, the same basic geology and footprint combinations occur at Dinosaur Valley State Park where the Paluxy River flows near Glen Rose, Texas. There, tracks of a similarly large Acrocanthosaurus and a few other dinosaur tracks, including those of Sauroposeidon, appear near the bottom of the Glen Rose Limestone. The dinosaur-track layers at Glen Rose stack in repeated beds. The boundaries between the limestone beds and between limestone and sandstone look flat and sharp. Throughout central Texas, this same limestone unit has cavities and fossilized hollow tubes that likely represent worm and clam burrows. The fact the layers contain such short-lived features like burrows shows just how fast these sediments settled and hardened. “These thin track-bearing layers extend over huge segments of ancient coastal plain,” according to dinosaur trackway expert Martin Lockley. This one limestone unit holds dinosaur tracks from near El Paso, Texas, to Nashville, Arkansas—a distance of some 700 miles…
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image credit: ICR video series Uncovering the Truth about Dinosaurs, Episode 3: Dinosaurs and the Flood.