Dinosaur footprints dating back 113 million years have been found after extreme drought conditions evaporated a river in Texas called the Paluxy River.
The tracks belong to the 15ft tall, seven-tonne Acrocanthosaurus species of dinosaur. They were found by experts at the state’s Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Sauroposeidon, which was about 60ft tall and weighed around 44 tons, was also likely to be responsible for some of the prints, officials said.
Usually, the dinosaur tracks are under the water and filled with sediment, which buries them and makes them less conspicuous.
Dinosaur Valley State Park has a variety of dinosaur tracks, mostly from ancient sauropods and theropods, but this is the first time these footprints have been seen.
Sauropods include herbivorous dinosaur species such as Diplodocus and Brontosaurus, which had large flat elephant-like feet, while theropods such as Tyrannosaurus rex had clawed, three-toed feet.
In a post on Facebook, the park wrote: ‘After the Drought of 2022 Huge Dinosaur Tracks Appear in the Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park. B.P. Baker Site. Normally these are under water and mud.’
The tracks in the park are thought to date back to the mid-Cretaceous Era when the Dallas region of Texas was at the shore of a sea.
According to the park website, the mud at this shoreline made the perfect consistency to preserve tracks because of calcium carbonate deposits from the shells of crustaceans.
‘Right now, due to the very low river conditions, more tracks are now visible than under normal conditions,’ the park said in a comment under the video.
‘So if you are wanting to find tracks and explore that aspect of the park, it is a great time to visit!’
Last week, more than 60 percent of Texas experienced drought in two of the most intense categories, according to the US Drought Monitor.
The state has also been facing severe heatwaves that have left millions of people living under excessive heat alerts.
Dinosaur Valley State Park has been designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Parks Service because of its display of dinosaur tracks.