Dinosaur Valley State Park
|Dinosaur Valley State Park|
The Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park
|Location||Somervell County, Texas|
|Nearest city||Glen Rose|
|Area||1,524.72 acres (617 ha)|
|Governing body||Texas Parks and Wildlife Department|
Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, is a 1,524.72-acre (617 ha) scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. The land for the park was acquired from private owners under the State Parks Bonds Program during 1968 and opened to the public in 1972. In addition to being a state park, it is also a National Natural Landmark.
Eastward-dipping limestones, sandstones, and mudstones of the Glen Rose Formation were deposited during the early Cretaceous Period approximately 113 million years ago along the shorelines of an ancient sea, and form the geological setting for the park area. Over the last million years or so, these layered formations have been eroded, dissected and sculpted by the Paluxy River which, in many places, has cut down to resistant beds and planed off sizable exposures of rock in the river bottom.
Near Dinosaur Valley State Park, in the limestone deposits along the Paluxy River, "twin sets" tracks were found in the Glen Rose Formation as early as 1908. These footprints have been cited by young-Earth creationists as evidence against evolutionary theory. However, at least one major proponent of this claim, John D. Morris, of the Institute for Creation Research, now admits the claim is not well supported by the evidence, that the alleged human tracks may in fact be dinosaurian, and that the tracks near Glen Rose do not support the claim that humans and non-avian dinosaurs coexisted. John Morris and other young-Earth creationists continue to believe that humans and non-avian dinosaurs lived at the same time, a notion that is contrary to the standard view of the geological time scale. This view is the basis for displays at the Creation Evidence Museum in nearby Glen Rose. However, in a rebuttal, biologist Massimo Pigliucci has noted that geologists in the 1980s "clearly demonstrated that no human being left those prints," but rather "they were in fact metatarsal dinosaur tracks, together with a few pure and simple fakes."
The family of George Adams, the man who originally made the claims, later admitted it was a hoax. "My grandfather was a very good sculptor," said Zana Douglas, from the Adams family who found many of Glen Rose’s real dinosaur tracks. She explained that in the 1930s and the Depression, Glen Rose residents made money by making moonshine and selling dinosaur fossils. The fossils brought $15 to $30 and when the supply ran low, George Adams, Zana's grandfather "just carved more, some with human footprints thrown in."
- List of Texas State Parks
- Texas Parks and Wildlife: Dinosaur Valley State Park
- John D. Morris The Pauluxy River Tracks, Institute for Creation Research, 2007
- Morris, John (May 2013). "Paluxy River: The Tale of the Trails". Acts & Facts 42 (5): 12–14.
- Massimo Pigliucci, Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science, (Sinauer, 2002, page 246): ISBN 0-87893-659-9
- Kennedy, Bud (August 10, 2008). "Human footprints beside dinosaur tracks? Let's talk". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. B02.
- Dinosaur Valley State Park - official site
- A guide to the state park by Glen J. Kuban.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dinosaur Valley State Park
- The Texas Dinosaur/"Man Track" Controversy by Glen J. Kuban from talk.origins
- Dinosaur tracks excavation at Dinorsaur Valley State Park Accessed February 25, 2013.