Museum

Dinosaur Footprints - EXLEY SCIENCE CENTER LOBBY

dino footprints exley lobby

When huge dinosaur tracks were found in a field during construction excavations at Rocky Hill Professor Joe Webb Peoples took the initiative to protect and preserve those fossils and to help in creating what today is known as Dinosaur State Park. Some dinosaur tracks (most from the brownstone quarries in Portland, just across the river) are on exhibit on the wall in front of the Wesleyan Science Library lobby.

Entering the Tower  from the south entrance huge wall prints become an immediate presence. Dinosaurs! Those tracks remind us that once, huge prehistoric creatures shook this very ground with their enormous feet.

The flesh of their bodies is gone now and their cries no longer pierce the atmosphere. All we have to show for their presence are their footprints and perhaps some other fossilized afterimages: puzzles passed down the ages to us by nature, to be discovered, explored and deciphered.

Tracks outside the library entrance, labeled from left to right:

  1. Otozoum moodii, undertrack 182
  2. Anchisauripus tuberosus
  3. Eubrontes giganteus, undertrack 184 (Connecticut State Fossil)
  4. Otozoum moodii, Grallator 183
  5. Eubrontes giganteus undertrack 594
  6. Eubrontes giganteus undertrack 594
  7. Eubrontes giganteus and Anchisauripus 679
  8. Anchisauripus
  9. Eubrontes (menisculus?) underprint 187
  10. Anchisauripus
  11. Eubrontes, Grallator parallellus

Series partially built in by library, from left (inside library) to right, opposite doors leading out towards Olin Library:

  1. Otozoum moodii 595
  2. Anchisauripus 365
  3. small Grallator 2001
  4. Anchisauripus 185
  5. Anchisauripus 185 (1 of 2 underprint)
  6. Anchisauripus and small Eubrontes 184
  7. small Grallator 185
  8. Otozoum 183
  9. small Grallator 392
  10. probably various growth stages of Grallator 185
  11. Otozoum undertrack series
  12. Eubrontes undertrack
  13. Otozoum moodii

Thanks to Paul Olsen, Lamont-Dohert Earth Observatory, for help in identifying the tracks; visit his 'Triassic-Jurassic Footprint Project' online. Most specimens were collected in the Portland quarries. Grallator, Anchisauripus and Eubrontes are all footprints made by theropod, bipedal dinosaurs of varying sizes. Otozoum moodii tracks were probably not made by a dinosaur, may have been made by a large phytosaurs (resembling a crocodile). Click here for more information on the track makers.

footprint exley lobby

Otozoum moodii

A short walk past the dinosaur tracks and through the lobby brings one to the main elevators for a ride up to the 4th floor where more artifacts (animal, vegetable and mineral) from Earth's distant past are found in the Joe Webb Peoples Earth and Environmental Sciences Museum.