The Footsteps of Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs left a fascinating legacy for us: footprints, embedded in stone, from hundreds of millions of years ago. 

Steps of a Baby Sauropod

A baby dinosaur approximately the size of a pug dog scurried alongside what may have been its mom or dad some 148 million years ago in what is now foothills near Denver, scientists reported Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.

They caught the paleo-action in the footprints left behind there near the town of Morrison, Colo. The scientists think the dinosaur prints, a set of infant prints next to partial prints from an adult, belonged to Apatosaurus, a sauropod -- giant, long-necked dinosaurs that preferred veggies -- and once known as Brontosaurus. Read more

(Morrison Museum of Natural History � Matthew T. Mossbrucker)

Dino tracks from Arkansas

Researchers from the University of Arkansas found a field of fossilized tracks, and believe the three-toed print may belong to Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, one of the largest predators to ever walk the earth. Read more

(University of Arkansas / Russell A. Cothren)


A close up view of one theropod footprint the recent spate of markings found on a beach in Australia, a part of the continent that used to be a part of the South Pole. Read more

(Anthony Martin)


The fossil footprints showed five slender toes, suggesting an ancient reptile made the tracks, since amphibians sport four stubby toes on each "hand."

(Howard Falcon-Lang)

Human Vs. Theropod Print

May 10, 2007: The largest predators to ever stride the earth — Tyrannosaurus rex and its kin — often left indelible footprints with their massive steps, and some of their tracks are still evident millions of years after the dinosaurs perished. In most cases, dinosaur footprints are less than ideally preserved, and many times are barely recognizable as tracks, as here where a human footprint overlaps a theropod print.

(David Loope)

Polar Tracks

Oct. 27, 2008: A track from a large, carnivorous theropod dinosaur in Australia reveals that the ancient beasts survived in polar climes when the outback was still joined to Antarctica and close to the South Pole. The researchers estimate the tracks were made 115 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period by theropod dinosaurs, a group of bipedal carnivores that includes Tyrannosaurus rex.

(Anthony J. Martin)

400 Million Year Old Prints

Jan. 6, 2010: Four-legged creatures were mucking around a muddy basin in what is now Poland about 397 million years ago. And they left behind distinctive footprints, which have turned back the clock on the evolution of these landlubbers.

Scientists discovered the fossilized prints, which included various trackways and isolated prints, in the Holy Cross Mountains in southeastern Poland. Analyses suggest most if not all of them came from different tetrapod species — which are four-legged animals that had backbones, such as amphibians — with some possibly belonging to juveniles and adults of the same species.


Zoot Alors! French Dinosaurs!

Oct. 8, 2009: Now that's one big foot. Paleontologists in eastern France have reported the discovery of some of the largest dinosaur footprints ever documented, measuring almost 5  feet in diameter. The site of the find, high in the Jura mountains near Paris, was once a literal sauropod stomping ground: So far, 20 prints scattered on a 25-acre site have been uncovered.


Ornithopod Tracks

May 22, 2008: For the first time, dinosaur footprints have been found on the Arabian Peninsula. In ancient coastal mudflats in Yemen, fossils reveal that a herd of 11 gigantic dinosaurs — sauropods, the largest animals that ever walked on land — tramped deep tracks into the earth that have lasted roughly 150 million years. Here, an ornithopod trackway in ancient coastal mudflats in Yemen.

(Nancy Stevens)

Theropod Print

Oct. 23, 2008: A "dinosaur graveyard" full of fossils has been discovered in a former river bed in Utah, presenting an opportunity for a decade's worth of Jurassic research by paleontologists. Here, an excavator's foot is dwarfed by the size of a theropod footprint.

(Dinosaur Institute/Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)

An Upright Meat-Eater

Oct. 21, 2008: More than 1,000 dinosaur footprints along with tail-drag marks have been discovered along the Arizona-Utah border. The incredibly rare concentration of beastly tracks likely belonged to at least four different species of dinosaurs, ranging from youngsters to adults.

The tracks range in length from 1 to 20 inches.

(Winston Seiler)

Neandertal Foot Bones

Dec. 05, 2006: Neanderthal foot bones, ribs and vertebrae in cemented sand and clay from El Sidron cave in Asturias, Spain.

(Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales)

The Footsteps of Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs left a fascinating legacy for us: footprints, embedded in stone, from hundreds of millions of years ago. 

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