discovered just outside D.C.
|GREENBELT, Md. — Some 110 million years ago, in the swamp that would become the Washington suburbs, a hulking, armored nodosaur trudged along a riverbank, leaving a telltale print in the mud. Its offspring scrambled after it, slipping in the parent’s print. Other dinosaurs crowded the setting: A long-necked sauropod squelched|
through the muck, while several theropods — smaller cousins of the fearsome T-rex — stalked the landscape. Perhaps they were in pursuit of the small, rodent-like creatures hopping about.
… on a summer day in 2012, a self-taught fossil hunter named Ray Stanford noticed the unmistakable shape of the nodosaur’s track as he drove out of a parking lot at what is now NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
Years of excavation and analysis revealed the contours of that fossil print and dozens more on a single 8.5-foot-long slab of sandstone, Stanford and his colleagues announced Wednesday.