The entire find, containing at least three dinosaur footprints, is approximately seven feet long and three feet across at its widest point. Additionally, the footprint-rich layer is bonded to a separate layer of iron-rich sandstone that complicated the efforts to extract and preserve it.
Before removing the rock layer, Godfrey made a silicon-rubber cast of the prints, then jacketed the entire find in multiple layers of plaster-soaked burlap (i.e. just like a cast) to add rigidity and to further ward against breakage during transport. Galvanized steel pipes wrapped into the jacket acted like splints to provide additional structural support.
The combined weight of the footprint, field jacket material and surrounding soil that was removed was estimated to be approximately 3,000 pounds, so extra care was taken in moving it to avoid damaging the rather extraordinary find.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Michelle Handleman
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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