In 1994, employees at a Bolivian cement quarry uncovered a giant slab of limestone sprinkled with more than 5,000 dinosaur footprints. Evidence that prehistoric beasts once walked the earth is not exactly breaking news, but these prints are different. Not only does the quarry showcase the most diverse array of tracks on earth (that we know of), but the dinosaurs appear to have been running up the face of an almost vertical cliff.
Spoiler alert, they weren’t. The discovery at Cal Orck’o (the name of the cliff) is an example of how our world is constantly changing. Over 68 million years ago, this land was a flat shoreline surrounding a huge lake. Passing dinosaurs squished their feet into the soft sand and left behind a long line of tracks. Theories on how the prints were preserved vary. Experts say the ash from a volcanic eruption or sediment from a mudslide might have covered the area, protecting the tracks from the elements. After a few seismic events - and many millions of years - the tightly packed sediment shifted to its now vertical position. Cal Orck’o (which is located at Parque Cretacico) is home to roughly 462 trails of dino footprints belonging to 15 different species. Visitors can see the prints up close through guided walking tours. So, if you’re ever in the area, pop by and see it for yourself. And wear a mask.
Image by Micah MacAllen