New Early Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks from Southwestern Arkansas

Friday, December 30, 2011

Earlier this summer some new tracks, most notably sauropods and theropods, were found in southwestern Arkansas, in the same gypsum quarry where other tracks were located in the 1980's. Back then, Jeff Pittman had been doing some work at the quarry and often was displeased with the potholes he had to drive across every day. In late 1983 he and Dave Gillette confirmed that the "potholes" were actually thousands of sauropod tracks. The tracks were destroyed the next year. An account of that story can be found here.

The large theropod tracks at the Arkansas site look very similar to a new track series near Moab near the base of Ruby Ranch Member of Cedar Mountain Formation (picture right). This site is currently being developed into a protected interpreted trail by the BLM. Stay tuned for more information on this site as it becomes available. The site is being worked on by Brent Breithaupt (BLM regional paleontologist), Neffra Matthews (BLM), and Martin Lockley (CU Denver - retired). It should prove to be a very interesting site once it is described. Work is planned to compare this site to the Arkansas site.

The story below is the report from the University of Arkansas, my alma mater, who worked most recently on the Arkansas tracks. I was not involved in the work at this site. If you have any specific questions please direct them to Steve Boss.

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