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More than 200 dinosaur tracks to be set on display in Utah

Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Friday, August 22, 2014, 7:33 PM -

A dry wash full of 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that include prints left behind by an ankylosaurus, dromaeosaurus and a menacing ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex, are set to be opened to the public this fall near Moab, Utah. 

In an interview with The Associated Press, Utah Bureau of Land Management paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-Foster says there are more than 200 tracks in an area smaller than a football field. 

They were first discovered in 2009. Since then, paleontologists led by a team at the University of Colorado at Denver have studied them and prepared them for display. It's set to open in October. 

The tracks are from the early Cretaceous period. They include a set of 17 consecutive footprints left by Tyrannosaurus rex ancestor and the imprint of an ancient crocodile pushing off into the water. 

SEE ALSO: Six terrifying ancient (and thankfully extinct) beasts

Paleontologists believe the tracks were made over several days in what was a shallow lake. They likely became covered by sediment that filled them up quickly enough to preserve them but gently enough not to scour them out, said Hunt-Foster. 

When it opens in October, the site will have a trail leading people to the tracks with signs explaining what they are looking at. Officials are trying to raise funds to provide shade and a boardwalk so people can look at the tracks without being tempted to touch. 

With files from The Associated Press

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