SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Footprints made by a dinosaur, preserved in vertically-bedded Jurassic sedimentary rocks. The Jurassic period is classified as 213 to 144 million years before present, and has a very rich fossil record. These rocks were probably deposited as muds around a lake which later dried up, possibly at the end of a rainy season. As the muds dried, the footprints were made by a passing animal. The footprints were then baked solid as the drying continued. After some time, when the waters returned, new muds were deposited on top of the existing beds. This preserved the footprints from erosion until the rock beds were lifted and tilted to their present exposed position.
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