Utah is covered with dinosaur tracks. Who knew?
Well actually, I had a bit of an idea, since I’ve seen some of them myself!
Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks are located north of Arches National Park, just east of Hwy 191. The landscape in this area looks Out of this World to begin with, more like Mars than Earth. But the fact you can go and see dinosaur tracks wandering across the desert makes Copper Ridge even more mind-blowing!
The otherworldly landscape of Copper Ridge, Utah
At around 150 million years old, the tracks at Copper Ridge date back to the Jurassic geological period. Now, I’ve seen dinosaur footprints in other places, but the ones at Copper Ridge are particularly clear.
The first set of tracks belong to a sauropod (a long-necked herbivore, such as a brontosaurus or diplodocus). Each footprint is deep and disc-shaped, like someone went along stamping the wet sand (as the surface would have been at the time the tracks were formed) with a thick tree trunk. A really think tree trunk. Apparently, this was the first dino trackway found in Utah.
This was a BIG animal!
The sauropod climbed the sandbank, then turned right
Although not as deep as the sauropod footprints, the second set of tracks are even more dramatic. Not to mention even more recognisable as those of a dinosaur.
The second set of tracks
The three-clawed footprints were clearly made by a large, upright-standing, meat-eating dinosaur, and my thoughts immediately went to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. In fact, they probably belong to a slightly smaller allosaurus, but they’re still really impressive!
One of the allosaurus footprints
I wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with those claws
This rock at Copper Ridge reminded me of a dinosaur skull
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This post was inspired by the photo themes of Wildlife from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Out Of This World from Ben of The Daily Post.