(CNN) — Dinosaur footprints from about 113 million years ago were revealed in the Valley of the Dinosaurs State Park in Texas after severe drought conditions that dried up a river, the park said in a statement Monday.
“Most of the tracks that have been discovered recently and that have been discovered in different parts of the river in the park belong to Acrocanthosaurus. This was a dinosaur that, as an adult, was about 4.5 meters tall and (weighed) about seven tons,” park spokeswoman Stephanie Salinas Garcia told CNN in an email.
The other species that left footprints in the park in Glen Rose, Texas, was the Sauroposeidon, which would measure about 18 meters in height and weigh about 44 tons as an adult, García added.
Excessive drought this summer caused a river in the park to dry up completely in most places, exposing the tracesthe latest well-hidden secret to come to light as water bodies around the world have dried up.
Last week, more than 60% of Texas was experiencing drought in two of the most intense categories, according to the US Drought Monitor. The state has also recently experienced heat waves that pushed temperatures to exceed 100°F, leaving millions under excessive heat alerts.
The human-made climate crisis has also raised the possibility of drastic changes in periods of drought and high rainfall occurring more frequently, such as this week’s flash flooding in the Dallas area.
Under normal weather conditions, the dinosaur footprints found in the riverbed are underwater and filled with sediment, making them less visible, Garcia explained.
“Being able to find these discoveries and learn about new dinosaur footprints is always an exciting time at the park.” Garcia added.
In the meantime, the footprints are expected to be hidden again as rain is expected, Garcia said, adding that the process helps protect the footprints from natural weathering and erosion.
“Although these new dinosaur tracks were visible for a short time, they provoked the amazement and excitement of finding new dinosaur tracks in the park,” Garcia said. “Dinosaur Valley State Park will continue to protect these 113-million-year-old footprints for not only present generations, but future ones as well.”
The footprints are just the latest discovery brought about by a drop in water levels due to drought, both in the United States and abroad: Five sets of human remains have been discovered in Lake Mead, Utah, in recent months. since the reservoir has dropped to 27% of its total capacity.
In eastern Serbia, dozens of explosives-laden German warships were exposed in the drying-up Danube River. A prehistoric stone circle dubbed the “Spanish Stonehenge” has been discovered in the Valdecanas reservoir in Spain. And Buddhist statues believed to be 600 years old have been found in the depleted Yangtze River.