new tracks discovered in 2006


New Dinosaur Tracks Found Nearby on West Street

After the discovery of the new tracks, it was important to evaluate the find. To assess the trackway's extent and the quality of what had been discovered, a site assessment would have to be carried out by paleontologists and/or geologists knowledgeable of the Connecticut Valley. Richard Krueger, Dinosaur State Park's director from 1970-2003, and Hugo Thomas, former University of Connecticut geology professor and retired DEP Bureau Chief were contacted.

Despite their appearance as hard rock, the tracks were nowhere near as strong as the sandstone layer protected at the Park. With the consensus of several geologists, the DEP made an official recommendation that all removed tracks are to be saved, in addition to one of the positive tracks that was cut out of the bedrock. While work was on hold during the assessment, an exposed vertical section of rocks overlying the new track layer was measured and described.

Dr. Randy Steinen, a retired UConn geology professor, who is a specialist in stratigraphy, is very familiar with the character and classification of rock types in the Connecticut Valley. He agreed with the others, noting that the rocks are not as well lithified (process whereby sediments become solid rock) as those at the Park. He attributed the sugary texture to this process and a higher relative percentage of quartz in the new track layer. It is important to note that these are not geologic differences in the same track layer. Dr. Steinen stressed that theVeterans Home tracks are part of a lower sequence of Jurassic lake deposits, located several hundred feet below and, therefore, tens of thousands of years older than the Park's trackway. Return to trackway information.