Dinosaur Tracks: Prehistoric Chase Scene Reconstructed

Scientists have digitally reconstructed the scene of a dinosaur chase - preserved in the mud of an ancient river bed in Texas.

The tracks were left by two dinosaurs more than 110 million years ago.

Seventy years ago, the whole trackway was removed from the river bed and divided into blocks, which were moved to different locations for study.

Some of these blocks have been lost, but the team managed to use old photographs to reconstruct the site.

Lead researcher Peter Falkingham, from the Royal Veterinary College, said he and his colleagues had used just 17 photographs taken by American palaeontologist Roland T Bird, who first excavated the site in 1940.

The tracks are from two dinosaurs, a large, herbivorous sauropod, and a carnivorous theropod - the group of top predators to whichTyrannosaurus rex belonged.

"In some places the theropod tracks are in the sauropod tracks," said Dr Falkingham.

"[This means] the theropod came after. So Bird interpreted this as a theropod chasing a sauropod."

Bird also drew maps of the whole site in the Paluxy River in Texas. But since then, some of the blocks the trackway was divided into have been lost.

This study allowed the entire 45m (147ft) "chase scene" to be seen as a whole once again for the first time since it was removed from the site.