Researchers discover dinosaur fossils in Arkansas

By Matt Johnson

SOUTHWESTERN ARKANSAS - Researchers have discovered dinosaur tracks right here in Arkansas that they say are more than 100 million years old.

A team lead by the University of Arkansas explored the southwestern part of the state and came back with some surprising new details.

At two feet long and a foot wide these dinosaur footprints may belong to one of the largest predators ever. And they were found right in these researchers' backyards.

"These tracks were formed exactly right here," said Brian Patt with the University of Kansas. "We know a dinosaur stepped on this exact spot 110 million years ago. That's really cool."

Now the team of researchers is hot on the trail of two types of dinosaurs. Their tracks are scattered over private property the size of two football fields.

"These rocks were deposited in the middle part of the Cretaceous, during a time that was very time that was very warm, it was a global warming period," said Celina Squarez with Boise State University. "The reason why that's important is that we can use the climate that time in the Cretaceous to help us understand future climates."

The last dinosaur discovery in Arkansas was in the 1980s in the southern part of the state. This summer's discovery is the first major discovery in Southwestern Arkansas.