Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:43 UK

Dinosaur footprints go on display

Dinosaur tracks
The tracks had to be moved to protect them from damage

Fossilised dinosaur tracks found at a dump in Oxfordshire have been put on display for the first time.

The tracks, which were unearthed at Ardley Quarry and Landfill Site in 1997, have gone on show at the new Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock.

Experts believe the tracks in the limestone were made by Megalosaurus and Cetiosaurus 170 million years ago.

The footprints were unveiled as part of the opening of the museum's new Dinosaur Garden.

Tom Freshwater, of the Oxfordshire Museum, said: "The footprints are very ephemeral remains that you get from dinosaurs, usually people think of bones.

"We're very lucky that these fleeting momentary impressions have been preserved. The trackways at Ardley showed the dinosaurs running and that's very rare thing.

Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock
The footprints are the centre piece of the new Dinosaur Garden

"They're the longest trackways in the world showing dinosaurs running. So that's why they're so important."

The two types of dinosaur which are believed to have created the tracks had very distinct characters.

Megalosaurus was a fierce, meat-eating beast like Tyrannosaurus rex, while the vegetarian Cetiosaurus was more similar to an Apatosaurus.



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SEE ALSO
Dinosaur tracks moved from dump
19 May 04 |  Oxfordshire
Dino feet leave their mark
30 Jan 02 |  Science/Nature

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