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Footprints of dino chase digitally reconstructed

A digital reconstruction of the world's most famous dinosaur footprints has given researchers a way to preserve the path, which is physically deteriorating.

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Footprints of a T. rex-type dinosaur chasing an Apatosaurus-like animal have been turned into a 3-D fly-through, giving researchers a way to verify maps of the tracks drawn 70 years ago.

The tracks, from the Paluxy River in Texas, are among the most famous dinosaur footprints in the world. But the pathway has been under threat since paleontologists excavated, divided and moved some of the prints to museums, and others have been lost.

The digital reconstruction made from photos taken in the 1940s and published April 2 in PLOS ONE demonstrates how paleontological, geological or archaeological sites that have been physically destroyed but are documented in photographs can continue to be studied, the researchers say.



DINO WALK  This is the first time anyone has viewed the entire 45-meter trail in 3-D since its excavation in 1940.
Credit: P. Falkingham et al/PLOS ONE 2014

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