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Future Exploration Science Working Group

September

13

"DINOSAUR TRACKS IN GODDARD'S BACK YARD! The Finder's Report"

Ray Stanford

Abstract: Ray Stanford is the discoverer of the previously unknown 112 million-years-old dinosaur (and other vertebrate) footprints of Maryland. When his discoveries began, only a few dinosaurs were known in this area, based on bones and tooth finds. His subsequent dinosaur footprint discoveries reveal the existence of more than twenty previously undocumented dinosaur types in Prince Georges county, including Goddard.

He has rescued hundreds of dinosaur footprints and small dinosaur trackways, that would otherwise have been pulverized in stream reclamation and construction projects, including the large nodosaur footprint which he found on June 25, right here at Goddard.

Ray's discovery of hundreds of very small dinosaur footprints has shown that the Goddard vicinity was a nesting ground for many different dinosaur species.

That hatching-ground analysis of footprint evidence is reinforced by a new species of nodosaur, a hatchling, which Ray found in nearby College Park. It was gifted to the Smithsonian Institution, and is on permanent display in their Dinosaurs in Our Back Yard showcase there. It is the only hatchling dinosaur of any kind ever found in the eastern USA, and the only nodosaur hatchling ever reported from anywhere in the world.

Ray has written two published scientific papers on his footprint finds in the international, refereed scientific journal Ichnos, and his new dinosaur was described and named in the refereed Journal of Paleontology, a year ago this month.

Maybe Ray will pronounce the new nodosaur's name for us. ;)

The well-preserved footprint Ray discovered here at Goddard is so large that it clearly was made by an adult nodosaur, perhaps, he wonders, by a grown-up version of the tiny hatchling he found in nearby College Park. He has agreed to share with us today, how he managed to locate and identify what, until he happened along, was a paleontological treasure hidden in plain sight, with a well-worn footpath passing within six feet of it!

 
Date September 13, 2012
Start/End Time 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Location Building 34, Room W150
Contact Dave Williams
Phone (301)-286-1258
Email Address dave.williams@nasa.gov
Event Type Seminars/Colloquia
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