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Geologist Winston Seiler with a few of the thousands of dinosaur tracks found at the Arizona-Utah border.
Geologist Winston Seiler with a few of the thousands of dinosaur tracks found at the Arizona-Utah border. (By Nicole Miller -- University Of Utah Via Associated Press)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Scientists Discover 'Dinosaur Dance Floor'

· Geologists have discovered prehistoric animal tracks along the Arizona-Utah state line that are so close together they are calling the area a "dinosaur dance floor."

The three-quarter-acre site offers new clues about the lives of dinosaurs 190 million years ago.

Back then, the region was mostly desert. The tracks were found in what would have been a watering hole among sand dunes.

Scientists say there are more than 1,000 tracks at the site, in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. In some places, there are as many as a dozen footprints in a square yard.

"It was a place that attracted a crowd, kind of like a dance floor," said geologist Marjorie Chan, an author of a study of the site.

Researchers identified four kinds of tracks but don't know which species left them. Some footprints measure 16 inches across and have three toes and a heel. Others are smaller and rounder.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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