Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Footprints of cretaceous dinosaur found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Date:
August 21, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
About 110 million light years away, the bright, barred spiral galaxy NGC 3259 was just forming stars in dark bands of dust and gas. Here on the part of the Earth where NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center would eventually be built, a plant-eating dinosaur sensed predators nearby and quickened its pace, leaving a deep imprint in the Cretaceous mud.

A model of a Nodosaur dinosaur sits inside what is believed to be the fossil of a Nodosaur footprint. The footprint was found by Ray Stanford a local dinosaur hunter.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth

About 110 million light years away, the bright, barred spiral galaxy NGC 3259 was just forming stars in dark bands of dust and gas. Here on the part of the Earth where NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center would eventually be built, a plant-eating dinosaur sensed predators nearby and quickened its pace, leaving a deep imprint in the Cretaceous mud.

Related Articles


On Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, noted dinosaur hunter Ray Stanford shared the location of that footprint with Goddard's facility management and the Washington Post newspaper.

"This was a large, armored dinosaur," Stanford said. "Think of it as a four-footed tank. It was quite heavy, there's a quite a ridge or push-up here. … Subsequently the sand was bound together by iron-oxide or hematite, so it gave us a nice preservation, almost like concrete."

Stanford, a "proud amateur dinosaur tracker" has had several papers published, including the discovery of a new species of nodosaur from a fossilized hatchling found near the University of Maryland in College Park. He previously confirmed the authenticity of this track with David Weishampel of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, author of the book "Dinosaurs of the East Coast."

He had material from the same Cretaceous-era sedimentary rock dated, with help from the US Geological Survey, to approximately 110- to 112-million years old, by analyzing pollen grains sealed in the stone. The Cretaceous Period ran between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago, and was the last period of the Mesozoic Era.

Goddard Facilities Manager Alan Binstock said the agency considers the footprint and its location "sensitive but unclassified."

The footprint is on federal land, so improperly removing it could potentially violate three laws: the Antiquities Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act.

NASA officials will next consult with the State of Maryland and paleontologists to form a plan for documenting and preserving the find, Binstock said.

Stanford also identified and presented several smaller footprints -- three-toed, flesh-eating therapods -- to Goddard officials from the same site.

He called the location of the find "poetic."

"Space scientists may walk along here, and they're walking exactly where this big, bungling heavy armored dinosaur walked, maybe 110 to 112-million years ago," Stanford said.

Read the Washington Post story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/dinosaur-age-meet-the-space-age/2012/08/17/76c176f4-e89a-11e1-8487-64e4b2a79ba8_story.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Footprints of cretaceous dinosaur found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821120324.htm>.
NASA. (2012, August 21). Footprints of cretaceous dinosaur found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821120324.htm
NASA. "Footprints of cretaceous dinosaur found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821120324.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

AFP (Jan. 23, 2015) Preparations are under way at the Taj Mahal ahead of a visit by Barack and Michelle Obama. Duration: 01:11 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Hundreds of pieces of Lincoln memorabilia collected by a Fort Worth, Texas businessman are set to be auctioned this weekend. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) The phones used to make the world&apos;s first coast-to-coast conference call 100 years ago have been put on display at the California Historical Society&apos;s 1915 World&apos;s Fair exhibit space in San Francisco. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) King Tutankhamun Burial Mask is now being called &apos;irreversibly damaged&apos; after its famous beard broke off in a botched cleaning job and then was hastily glued back together. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins