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Glen Rose Hotels
Texas | State Parks

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Glen Rose, Texas

Glen Rose Hotels
113 million year old Dinosaur Tracks in the Paluxy River bed.
US Highway 67 to FM 205 for 4 miles to Park Road 59; then one mile to the park headquarters
Glen Rose TX - Tracks, Dinosaur Valley State Park
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Dinosaur Valley State Park -
Dinosaur Tracks on the Banks of the Paluxy River

From The Plight of the Pleurocoeleus by Clay Coppedge

March 17 , 2008 column


"... Near Glen Rose, at the appropriately named Dinosaur Valley State Park, on the banks of the Paluxy River and in the riverbed itself, are some remarkably well preserved Pleurocoeleus tracks. These are some of the best dinosaur tracks in the world, which is why paleontologists love the park and have ever since Roland T. Bird of the American Museum of Natural History visited the site in 1938. Bird realized that a set of double tracks showed a herbivorous sauropod —most likely our boy, the Pleurocoeleus — being chased by a meat-eating carnosaur.
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park - Paluxy River
Paluxy River
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park - Paluxy River Bank
Paluxy River bank
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
This was the first time sauropod tracks had been discovered anywhere in the world, which caused no small amount of excitement back in New York. The Glen Rose tracks were duly sent to New York and displayed at the American Museum of Natural History. The Pleurocoeleus obviously couldn't get away from the site fast enough on that particular day, but since then its tracks have been scattered hither and yon, to the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin and, unfortunately, into the private residences of many amateurs, or vandals, depending on how you look at these things.

The dinocaur tracks are a major wonder but it’s a small wonder that any tracks are left here at all. People complain that all the “good” tracks have been removed from the Paluxy River valley. A woman in Glen Rose told me that a lot of area families have a quarried dinosaur track or two in their homes. “You usually see them on people’s living room wall,” she said.

It took a special set of circumstances to preserve the tracks for all these millions of years. Scientists believe that a violent storm blew across the shoreline a few days before the tracks were made and created a series of sand and lime-laden mudflats. A herd of Pleurocoeleus came ambling across the sticky and still-wet mud in search of a primordal salad, followed in interested pursuit by the carnosaurs looking for some fresh sauropods; the Pleurocoeleus qualified.

True to their pacifistic nature, the Pleurocoeleus tried to run away but we don't know if they won that particular footrace or not. No intact skeleton remains were ever found, just huge saucer-like depressions from their hind feet and smaller tracks, much like horseshoes, from their front legs.

The primal, existential struggle for food and survival was preserved in stone when the seashore turned to stone, leaving behind the rocks we see in the park today, including the ones with the dinosaur prints... more"

What we know about the state dinosaur by Clay Coppedge 7-1-18 Column

"... The changing of the guard in the Texas dinosaur hierarchy started in 2007, when Peter Rose, then at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, disputed the long-held identity of the Paluxy River sauropod. Rose took a close look at sauropod bones at the Jones Ranch near Glen Rose and determined that the bones he found there didn't match the Pleurocoeleus bones first found in Maryland in the late 1800s.

Rose surmised that the bones belonged to a completely new genus and species, and he renamed the Paluxy River sauropods Paluxysaurus jonesi in honor of the river and the Jones Ranch. He saw the original identification as an honest mistake.

"At the time sauropod tracks and bones were first discovered in Texas, only Pleurocoeleus was known from North America for this particular time period," Rose told LiveScience in 2009. "In 1974, Wann Langston, Jr. described some sauropod fossils from Central Texas that he determined to be similar enough to those from Maryland that he referred them to genus Pleurocoeleus."

In January of 2009, State Rep. Charles Geren (R-Fort Worth), acting on behalf of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, introduced a resolution to name the Paluxysaurus the new state dinosaur. Representatives Mike Hamilton and Mark Homer showed up in dinosaur suits to make some kind of point, though Hamilton compromised the cause by mixing up the words "extinct" and "instinct."

Representative Dan Gattis opposed the bill and cited international fourth-grade spelling bee and grammar rules, claiming "the author can't even spell or pronounce all the words in his resolution." The resolution passed by a vote of 132-1, and Texas ended up with a new state dinosaur. "
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park? You can't miss it!
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park
Greeted by a dinosaur
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park -  Dinosaur Tracks
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Dinosaur Valley State Park -  Dinosaur Tracks -  Glen Rose, TX
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX -  Tracks - Dinosaur Valley State Park
Tracks, tracks, and more tracks.
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Dinosaur Tracks  with Will Beauchamp for scale, Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Tracks - William Beauchamp provides scale
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park - A bird by the Paluxy River
By the Paluxy River
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Coon Tracks- Dinosaur Valley State Park
Coon Tracks
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park - Paluxy River Bank
Paluxy River bank
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Glen Rose, TX - Dinosaur Valley State Park Entrance
Dinosaur Valley State Park entrance, Glen Rose, Texas
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Dinosaur Valley State Park Information

P O Box 396 Glen Rose TX 76043
254-897-4588
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

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