Crestaceous Footprint Found at Goddard

  • Released Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:52PM

About 110 million light years away, the bright, barred spiral galaxy NGC 3259 was just forming stars in dark bands of dust and gas. Here on the part of the Earth where NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center would eventually be built, a plant-eating dinosaur sensed predators nearby and quickened its pace, leaving a deep imprint in the Cretaceous mud.

Noted dinosaur hunter Ray Stanford discovered that fossilized footprint one afternoon this summer after noticing an unusual rock formation jutting out ever-so-slightly from a hillside on campus. Authorities at Goddard Space Flight Center called in Dr. Robert Weems, emeritus paleontologist for the USGS to come look at the track.

On Thursday Aug. 23rd Weems confirmed that is it in fact a footprint that was made by a nodosaur, a large plant-eating dinosaur that lived approximately 110-to 112-million years ago during the Cretaceous Period.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center