300-foot wall in Bolivia contains more than 5,000 dinosaur footprints

Kerry Clines

March 17, 2017

Dinosaur Footprints Embedded in Rock
Photo by Ramon Kristian Arellano.

Cal Orck’o, a limestone slab nearly 1 mile long and over 328 feet high, is located 3 miles from Sucre, Bolivia. The steep face of the slab has more than 5,000 individual dinosaur footprints from at least eight different species that lived 68 million years ago, Twisted Sifter reports. Cal Orck’o is located in a limestone quarry owned by Fancesa, Bolivia’s National Cement Factory, which is located in the ‘El Molino Formation.’

Dinosaur Footprints on Limestone Slab
Photo by Yatlik.com.

Farther up the hill is Parque Cretácico, a dinosaur museum that opened in 2006, which features 24 life-sized dinosaur replicas, various exhibitions, and a viewing platform 500 feet from the rock face.

Limestone Slab
Photo by Carsten Drossel.

The footprints at this site were formed during the Maastrichtian age of the Cretaceous Period in the Mesozoic Era, Ian Belcher of The Guardian explains, adding “It was unique climate fluctuations that made the region a palaeontological honey pot. The creatures’ feet sank into the soft shoreline in warm damp weather, leaving marks that were solidified by later periods of drought. Wet weather then returned, sealing the prints below mud and sediment. The wet-dry pattern was repeated seven times, preserving multiple layers of prints. The cherry on the cake was added when tectonic activity pushed the flat ground up to a brilliant viewing angle — as if nature was aware of its tourism potential.”

Aerial View of Limestone Slab
Photo by Gerardo Diego Ontiveros.

Cal Orck’o is one of the few locations in the world where a concentration of footprints from a wide variety of dinosaurs that lived at the end of the Cretaceous period can be found. The sheer size, geological significance, biodiversity, and social behavior of the dinosaurs can be studied. For example, the trail of a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex, nicknamed Johnny Walker, can be traced for 1,200 feet along the wall.

Woman Looking Up Limestone Slab
Photo by Ryan Greenberg.

 

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