Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 20
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20 TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
Acrocanthosaurus (30 ft. long)
Tyrannosaurus (40 feet long, 18 feet high)
prop while browsing from the top branches of the conif-
ers growing beyond the marshes bordering the tidal
flats. The largest tracks, consisting of coupled saucer-
shaped and crescent-shaped depressions, were almost
certainly made by the elephantine hind feet and
sheathed, hooflike front feet of this dinosaur. Some of
these tracks are three feet long and two feet wide, with
stride lengths of from seven to 10 feet. In some locations,
sauropod trackways accounting for several dozen of
these dinosaurs traveling as a herd have been described.
At Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, two parallel
trackways record the dramatic chase and possible
attack of a Pleurocoelus by an Acrocanthosaurus. Sev-
eral partial skeletons of Pleurocoelus have been found
in Texas; it is also known from Maryland.
Tenontosaurus, a 15- to 20-foot-long, relatively small-
headed, stout-bodied bird-hip, had a tail that accounted
for half its length. Recessed behind bone-framed cheek
pouches was a powerful battery of wide grinding teeth
for tough plant food. A number of fairly complete skele-
tons have been found in North Central Texas and adioin-
ing states. Tenontosaurus has been proposed as a
maker of the third kind of tracks - three-toed like
those of Acrocanthosaurus, but more stubby in front
and rounder-heeled in outline. However, since this
plant-eater had four toes behind and five in front, it
makes an unsatisfactory candidate.
Iguanodon, a 20- to 30-foot-long, four- to five-ton,
plant-eating bird-hip, is known from most continents.
Recent discoveries of Iguanodon fragments in early-
Cretaceous deposits of Texas confirm its presence
here. Iguanodon is a more likely choice for the origi-
nator of the blunt-toed, round-heeled footprints, since,
unlike four-toed Tenontosaurus, its hind feet had three
toes ending in stubby, hooflike claws. Iguanodon is
thought to have traveled mostly on its hind legs,
More on Page 22.
The beautiful sketches of dinosaurs in
this section are presented through the
courtesy of the Texas Department of
Parks and Wildlife, Interpretation and
Exhibits Branch. The artist is G.
Aaron Morris, a former Texas resident
now living in North Carolina.
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/24/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.