New Haven, Connecticut


Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill

Dinosaur tracks

This giant dinosaur footprint is a cast of the first authenticated Tyrannosaurus rex footprint ever found. It was discovered at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, New Mexico in 1983 by Charles Pillmore, a surveyor from the U.S. Geological Survey. Dr. Martin Lockley, a paleontologist at the University of Colorado, confirmed that it was a T.rex print based on the size, shape and the presence of a dew claw, which is a distinct feature of a T.rex foot. The track was found in a rock layer only a few feet below the K-T boundary that represents the mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. The individual who made the track was living in a coastal jungle environment and probably got their foot stuck in the mud.

This iconic carnivorous animal lived in the late Cretaceous period and was among the last of the non-avian dinosaurs to walk the Earth. Tyrannosaurus rex stood 12 tall at the hip and was over 40 feet in length - longer than a typical school bus. Weighing in at 6-7 tons, its massive 5 foot long head was filled with 50-60 bone-crushing teeth. The T.rex depicted here includes a feathery covering based on recent fossil finds of other tyrannosaurs. Yutyrannus huali, an 8 meter tyrannosaur discovered in China, was found partially covered with 15 cm long filamentous feathers.

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