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Dinosaur Age Meets the Space Age at NASA Goddard [Video]

A slab of sandstone discovered at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center contains at least 70 mammal and dinosaur tracks from more than 100 million years ago, according to a new paper published Jan. 31 in the journal Scientific Reports. The find provides a rare glimpse of mammals and dinosaurs interacting. In 2012, local dinosaur track expert Ray Stanford discovered a nodosaur track from the Cretaceous era on the campus of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. After the slab on which Stanford found the track was excavated, Stanford, paleontologist Martin Lockley, of University of Colorado at Denver, and others documented more than 70 dinosaur and mammal tracks imprinted in the sandstone. Their paper documenting the discovery was published Jan. 31, 2018, in the journal Scientific Reports. The tracks were discovered by Ray Stanford — a local dinosaur track expert whose wife, Sheila, works at Goddard. After dropping off Sheila at work one day in 2012, Stanford spotted an intriguing rock outcropping behind Shelia’s building on a hillside. Stanford parked his car, investigated, and found a 12-inch-wide dinosaur track on the exposed rock. Excavation revealed that the slab was the size of a dining room table and examination in the ensuing years found that it was covered in preserved tracks. The remarkable Goddard specimen, about 8 feet by 3 feet in size, is imprinted with nearly 70 tracks from eight species, including squirrel-sized mammals and tank-sized dinosaurs. Analysis suggests that all of the tracks were likely made within a few days of each other at a location that might have been the edge of a wetland, and could even capture the footprints of predator and prey.

Read More: NASA

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