A 100 Million Year Old Dinosaur Death Chase Has Been Reconstructed Using Tracks Found in 1940

Scientists have used computers to reconstruct the struggle between two dinosaurs which took place around 100 million years ago.

Colossal footprints uncovered in Texas during the 1940s were used to recreate the scene of a carnivorous tyrannosaur-like dinosaur hunting a giant herbivore.

As one of the most famous set of dinosaur tracks in the world, the Paluxy River tracks contain both theropod and sauropod footprints.

American Roland Bird originally excavated the extensive and well preserved footprints in 1940 but post-excavation paleontologists removed the tracks from their original location, divided them into blocks and transported them to various locations around the world.

Bird documented the original site with photos and map but portions of the tracks have been lost.

To digitally reconstruct the site as it was pre-excavation, scientists scanned 17 photos, developed a model and compared the model to maps drawn by Bird.

Despite the variation between the photos and the hand drawn maps, scientists were able to reconstruct and view the entire 45 metre long sequence in 3D for the first time since excavation.

The 3D digital model helped the authors corroborate the maps drawn by Bird when the track site was first described.

The reconstruction results are published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Peter Falkingham from Royal Veterinary College, London, and colleagues James Farlow and Karl Bates.

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