Sunday, 12 August 2018

Dinosaur Footprints Park at Tha Uthen

Dinosaur Footprints Park
Dinosaur Footprints Park at Tha Uthen is a venue for learning about dinosaurs.

The dinosaur footprints were found at Huai Dan Chum Site in Tha Uthen District. They were discovered on layers of reddish-brown sandstone, siltstone and mudstone with waves and fractures, aged approximately 100 million years. The sands are medium-sized, which reflects that the area was an ancient Tha Uthen river plain in the Early Cretaceous period

The discovery of these footprints began in July 2001 while workers were blasting stone for the construction of a dam along the Mekong River. They found “strange footprints” of some kind of animals in the stone and notified the Department of Natural Resources of their discovery. Varavudh Sutheetorn, the department’s geologist, came to investigate the site and gave a surprising result that the footprints were of an ostrich dinosaur, an iguanodon, a small-sized crocodile, Theropods and Ornithopods.

Dinosaur Footprints Park
There are 29 trails of Theropods’ footprints which are 6 to 16.1 centimetres wide and 10 to 18 centimetres long. Its height is estimated at 48 to 75.15 centimetres and its speed is calculated at 4.53 to 11.66 kilometres per hour. 

There is one trail of an Ornithopod’s footprint which is 18 centimetres long and 12.12 centimetres wide. Thulborn’s formula (1989) in estimating the dinosaur height tells that it is 86.4 centimetres high, while its speed at 8.07 kilometres per hour is calculated from Alexander’s formula (1976.)

From hundreds of footprints and dozens of trails in a variety of directions and manners, it is assumed that there were dozens of dinosaurs walking past the area in the past. Near them are footprints of ornithomimosaurs or ostrich dinosaurs which lived in a group and also footprints of iguanodons, sauropods, and crocodiles. Therefore, it is assumed that the area was previously river plain where numbers of animals came to feed.
Dinosaur Footprints Park

On display at the Park are the footprints, together with dinosaur and crocodile statues so that visitors can see the directions they were walking. In the Park are active fossil digs, bones and prints in museum buildings.

The Dinosaur Footprints Park covers an area of over 380 square kilometres and is located at Tha Uthen is located on Highway No. 212, Tha Uthen – Ban Phaeng route, at Ban Panom Sub-district. It is  27 kilometres away from Tha Uthen District of Nakhon Phanom Province in Thailand.

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