SAN ANTONIO – Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Witte Museum have formed a new partnership to document and research the only known dinosaur footprints on public land in Bexar County. The 110-million-year-old tracks are located within Government Canyon State Natural Area and are believed to have been left by Acrocanthosaurus and Sauroposeidon dinosaurs.
TPWD and the Witte will develop and provide interpretation, tours and exhibits about the tracks, as well as devise methods of conservation and protection for them. The public will be able to see the tracks either by visiting the Witte’s new dinosaur exhibit or by hiking to the dinosaur track location inside the state natural area located in west Bexar County.
Leading the project is Thomas Adams, Ph. D., curator of Paleontology and Geology for the Witte Museum. “Hundreds of dinosaur tracks represent a time when the San Antonio area was on the shore of the ancient Gulf of Mexico. Discovering that dinosaurs once lived in what is now Bexar County contributes significantly to the area’s natural history. The Witte Museum is honored to be involved with the project.”
Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum, understands the value of this find. “Plans for the new Witte include a complete Acrocanthosaurus skeleton, so having the actual tracks with its fossil equivalent is important to us. The partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife helps the Witte with its mission to promote lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs and collections in natural history.”
Chris Holm, superintendent of Government Canyon State Natural Area, adds, “This exciting partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Witte Museum brings in-depth scientific study and interpretation that will help us protect the tracks and educate generations of visitors about this area and the creatures that roamed here millions of years ago.”
Acrocanthosaurus was a large theropod (carnivorous, bipedal dinosaur) up to 40 feet long and weighing 2 to 3 tons. Sauroposeidon was genus of sauropod, the large, four-legged, herbivorous dinosaurs with very long necks, small heads, and long tails. It reached sizes up to 100 feet long and 60 tons.
About Texas Parks and Wildlife:
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department mission balances outdoor recreation and sustainable use of resources with conservation and management of natural and cultural resources. The department operates 95 Texas state parks, natural areas and historic sites, 46 wildlife management areas, three saltwater fish hatcheries and five freshwater hatcheries. TPWD game wardens and wildlife and fisheries biologists work in every Texas county, enforcing laws and encouraging management to conserve fish and wildlife.
About the Witte Museum:
Founded in 1926, the Witte Museum is located on the banks of the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park and is San Antonio’s premier museum promoting lifelong learning through innovative exhibition, programs and collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage. The Witte Museum serves 400,000 visitors a year, including 170,000 school-aged children and 75,000 who attend during Free Tuesdays.