Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hatchling Stegosaurus Footprints

Researchers at the Morrison Natural History Museum have discovered two rare hatchling dinosaur footprints in the foothills west of Denver, near the town of Morrison.

The fossil footprints represent the first hatchling Stegosaurus footprints ever found, according to Dr. Robert T. Bakker, the museum's curator of paleontology. Stegosaurus was first discovered in Morrison in 1877 and is Colorado's state fossil.

The tracks can be eclipsed by a fifty-cent piece, suggesting that hatchling Stegos were about the size of newborn human baby.

"The tracks are so crisply preserved that I can imagine the sound of tiny feet splashing up water when the baby dinosaurs came to this ancient river to drink and cool down," remarks Museum Director Matthew Mossbrucker, who found the tracks.

The fossils will go on permanent display at the Morrison Natural History Museum Memorial Day weekend as part of its annual "Dinosaur Days" event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 26 through Monday May 28.

To find out more about Dinosaur Days and special events around the new footprints, visit www.mnhm.org.