Dinosaur Valley State Park,
near Glen Rose, Texas, has some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world,
including what are arguably the best preserved sauropod tracks
anywhere. Many are preserved in the limestone floor of the Paluxy
river, and occur in the lower part of the Glen Rose
Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Albian/Aptian), approximately 110 million years old.
The most abundant tracks in the Paluxy are those of theropods (two legged
meat-eaters), probably made by Acrocanthosaurus.
Others are large four-footed tracks, which were often attributed to the sauropod
dinosaur Pleourocoelus but are now associated with the recently erected sauropod
Note: The site numbers
used here for four primary track sites
in the park are those numbers used most recently in park brochures
(other site numbers or names were used in the past by the park
and other sources). Other track sites within the park, which
often are not well exposed are indicated by site names only. Some
sites formerly outside the park (such as the Taylor Site) are now
within park jurisdiction. For more information about the
park facilities and attractions, see my web article
"Dinosaur Valley State Park."
"Ballroom" site, South of the Blue Hole (Site #1), 2009
This was the last large area of Dinosaur Valley State Park not yet well mapped prior to 2009.
In July of 2009 the Paluxy riverbed dried up almost completely, allowing a track crew
(consisting of paleontologist James farlow and seveal of his students, Mike
O'Brien of Texas Dept. of Parks and Wildlife, several staff members of Dinosaur Valley
State Park, and myself) to clean and document hundreds of tracks in this area, including
three sauropod traackways (1 large adult and two juvenile trails), and hundreds of
theropod tracks, including many metatarsal tracks, as well as some problematic marks
that may have been made by an invertebrate. All of the photos in this section are from the "Ballroom"
site except for the first few under the "July 25" link, which show "Dinosaur World"--an expensive
walk-through tourist trap of cheesy dinosaur statues (all anatomically incorrect
and painted in gaudy colors), which I would not recommend spending money on
(Dinosaur Valley State Park, where
real dinosaur tracks can be seen in the Paluxy Riverbed, is much more interesting, natural, and educational).
Note: The Taylor Site was outside Dinosaur Valley State Park until
the park acquired the adjoining land in 2004. This site contained the
most renown alleged "human" tracks, which are actually infilled
metatarsal dinosaur tracks. The infilling material ranges from
a bluish-grey (when unoxidized) to rusty-brown (when oxidized).