There’s a cliff wall full of 70 million year old dinosaur footprints in Spain’s Pyrenees mountains, just a 1.5 hour drive north from Barcelona. How are they on a rock face and not on the ground? How can we study these types of ancient fossilized tracks?
In this episode of Jurassic CSI, Walk Like a Dinosaur, Dr. Phil Manning, head of Paleontology Research Group at University of Manchester, joins paleontologists from The Catalan Institute of Paleontology as they climb down the former mud plain to measure the extremely fragile footprints of these “hulking 60-ton titanosaurs” by hand.
They then use long range LiDAR 3D scanning to capture the rock face and later calculate the animals’ dimensions, how fast they might have walked, and more.
How were the footprints made? An animation demonstrates how these flat-footed titanosaur prints would have formed deep in the region’s swampy mud 17 million years ago.
“Tides and storms washed layers of mud into the fresh tracks, protecting them from the elements. Over millions of years more mud and sand covered the footprints and compressed them into solid rock. Then the earth moved over millions of years. The African tectonic plate collided with Europe, giving birth to this mountain range, and the ancient mud plane went high-rise taking the titanosaur trackways with it.”
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.