Millions of years ago, prehistoric predators and prey left massive prints in the ground of what is now Texas — and they’re emerging due to a drought.
The dinosaur tracks are normally impossible to spot, covered by mud and water flowing through the Paluxy River. But the river has shrunk significantly in recent weeks, unveiling deep imprints left by clawed feet, video shared to Facebook on Aug. 17 shows.
They’re far from the only tracks at Texas’ Dinosaur Valley State Park, but few have been lucky enough to see these particular prints.
The park, like much of Texas, is under “exceptional drought” conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Exceptional drought is the most extreme level.
The video, which has been shared over 6,900 times as of Aug. 21, caught the attention of many online, sparking debate and feeding imaginations.
“I must have watched too many Jurassic Park movies, because I am getting nervous that he is spending all his time looking down at tracks and none looking over his shoulder,” one user commented.
The tracks belong to two classes of dinosaur, sauropods and theropods, according to a study published in 2012.
Sauropods were four-legged, herbivorous dinosaurs, such as the brachiosaurus, according to the University of California Museum of Paleontology. Meanwhile, theropods walked on two legs, and encompassed the largest predators to have ever lived, the most famous of which being Tyrannosaurus Rex.
“Right now, due to the very low river conditions, more tracks are now visible than under normal conditions,” the park said in a separate social media post. “So if you are wanting to find tracks and explore that aspect of the park, it is a great time to visit!”
Opened in 1972, Dinosaur Valley State Park is in north Texas, roughly 58 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
In addition to a variety of well-preserved dinosaur prints, the park features hiking, camping, fishing and horseback riding, according to the website.
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