Attractions
Dinosaur Footprints Park at Tha Uthen
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Operating day : All Day

Operating time : 24 Hour

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Attraction Details
Nakhon Phanom
Category : Museums

Dinosaur Footprints Park at Tha Uthen is located on Highway No. 212, Tha Uthen – Ban Phaeng route, at Ban Panom Sub-district, 27 kilometers away from Tha Uthen District of Nakhon Phanom Province. The dinosaur footprints were found at Huai Dan Chum Site in Tha Uthen. They were printed on reddish brown sandstone, aged approximately 100 million years, in Khok Kruat Formation of Early Cretaceous period, and were footprints of Theropods and Ornithopods.  In July, 2001, while workers were blasting stone for the construction of a dam along Mekong River, they found “strange footprints” of some kinds of animal in a stone. They notified the Department of Natural Resources of their discovery. Varavudh Sutheetorn, the department’s geologist, came to investigate the site and gave a surprising result that the footprints are of an ostrich dinosaur, an iguanodon, and a small-sized crocodile. The dinosaur footprints were found at Huai Dan Chum Site in Tha Uthen. They were printed on reddish brown sandstone, aged approximately 100 million years, in the time of Early Cretaceous period, and were footprints of Theropods and Ornithopods. There is one trail of an Ornithopod’s footprint which is 18 centimeters long and 12.12 centimeters wide. Thulborn’s formula (1989) in estimating the dinosaur height tells that it is 86.4 centimeters high, while its speed at 8.07 kilometers per hour is calculated from Alexander’s fornula (1976.) There are 29 trails of Theropods’ footprints which are 6 to 16.1 centemeters wide and 10 to 18 centimeters long. It height is estimated at 48 to 75.15 centimeters and its speed is calculated at 4.53 to 11.66 kilometers per hour. From hundreds of footprints and dozens of trails in variety of directions and manners, it is assumed that there were dozens of dinosaurs walking past the area in the past. Near them are footprints of ornithomimosaurs or ostrich dinosaurs which lived in group and also footprints of iguanodons, sauropods, and crocodiles. Therefore, it is assumed that the area was previously river plain where numbers of animals came to feed. Geology classifies dinosaur footprints at Tha Uthen in Khok Kruat Formation of Early Cretaceous period, aged approximately 100 million years. They are layers of reddish brown sandstone, siltstone and mudstone with waves and fractures. The sands are medium-sized, which reflects that the area were ancient Tha Uthen river plain.   

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