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In Photos: Baby Stegosaurus Tracks Unearthed

An ancient footprint

An adult stegosaurus track

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

Teensy tracks made by baby stegosaurus dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago, have been unearthed in Morrison, Colorado. The stegosaurus tracks were discovered in 2006 and 2007 in boulders lining a roadway.

Three toes

Digitally highlighted Adult stegosaurus tracks

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

Adult stegosaurus tracks, digitally highlighted for a clearer view of the three-toed back foot. These tracks came from the bone bed where the first specimen of the dinosaur was discovered in 1876.

From long ago

Fossilized adult stegosaurus track

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A view of the fossilized adult stegosaurus track from Morrison, Colorado. These Jurassic dinosaurs lived about 150 million years ago.

Seen in 3D

3D Model of adult stegosaurus footprint

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A digitized 3D model of the adult stegosaurus track from Morrison, Colorado. This model was created with a method called photogrammetry, which matches points on two-dimensional images to stitch together 3D models that can be manipulated with an iPad app.

A ancient pet?

3D reconstruction of baby stegosaurus footprint

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A 3D digital reconstruction of a baby stegosaurus print from the same trackway in Morrison, Colorado. These are the only baby stegosaurus prints ever found, and are about the size of tracks from a kitten.

So tiny!

Digital view of baby stegosaurus print

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A digital view of the baby stegosaurus print from Morrison, Colorado. Each section of the black-and-white scale bar represents a centimeter.

A closer view

A photogrammetric model of the baby stegosaurus footprint

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

The photogrammetric model allows researchers to rotate the 3D track, alter light direction, color and texture and create maps of the track depth. Each feature enables a closer examination of the fine details of the footprint.

Priceless

Comparing the real and the model stegosaurus footprint

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A side-by-side comparison of the 3d photogrammetric model of the adult stegosaurus track with the original fossil from Morrison, Colorado.

Found by accident

Two photographs of the adult stegosaurus track

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

Two photographs of the adult stegosaurus track from Morrison, with one digitally altered to highlight the boundaries of the print. These tracks were found in boulders taken from the original stegosaurus quarry and placed on the side of a road in the late 1930s. It wasn't until a construction project in the early 2000s that the boulders were studied and found to contain stegosaurus tracks.

A big growth curve

Realistic digital view of the baby stegosaurus track

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A realistic digital view of the baby stegosaurus track from Morrison, Colorado, alongside a color-coded version of the same print. Purples and blues are the deepest part of the track.

Tiny kiddos

side-by-side digital comparison of an adult stegosaurus track (left) and a baby stegosaurus track (right)

(Image credit: Matthew Mossbrucker, Morrison Museum of Natural History)

A side-by-side digital comparison of an adult stegosaurus track (left) and a baby stegosaurus track (right) from Morrison, Colorado. Baby stegosauruses would have been small enough to curl up in their parents' footprints.