Fossilized Dinosaur Tracks Discovered at Lake Grapevine

Several fossilized dinosaur tracks buried for millions of years have been discovered along the shore of Lake Grapevine, unearthed by the heavy rainfall and high lake levels this past spring.

"The area around the lake has been completely transformed by the high water levels," said paleontologist Christopher Noto, with the University of Wisconsin, who made rubber molds of the tracks.

"These tracks were found in areas that had been grown-over in the past," said Noto, "and so this represents new opportunities for discoveries."

Many of the tracks are from the Protohadros, a duck-billed plant eater which roamed North Texas 95 million years ago.

"You note the large indentions, the main forefinger, the fore-toe and the two sides there, kind of that typical three-toed stance," said James Murphy, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, describing one of the dinosaur tracks.

Similar dinosaur tracks were last discovered at Lake Grapevine eight years ago, during a drought which significantly lowered the lake level.

"These are the same type that we saw back in 2007, and these just emerged the other day," Murphy said.

Other dinosaur tracks are from Therapods, which hunted for food along the ancient riverbed or inland sea.

"This was the floor of the inland sea or the river dinosaurs actually walked through this layer and left their imprints," Murphy said.

"It documents the presence of one of these really good-sized meat eaters stalking around North Texas 95, 96 million years ago," said Ronald Tykoski, a paleontologist with the Paleo Lab at the Perot Museum of Nature at Science in Dallas.

The Army Corps of Engineers agreed to show NBC 5 the newly-discovered tracks only on the condition their exact location not be revealed.

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