‘We were freaking out’: Scientists left ‘flabbergasted’ by detailed dinosaur footprints covering a cliff in Alaska

The cliff face, known as “The Coliseum,” in Denali National Park and Preserve. Its surface is covered in fossilized dinosaur tracks. (Image credit: Patrick Druckenmiller)

“Flabbergasted” researchers have discovered that the face of a 20-story cliff in Alaska is covered in the fossilized footprints of dozens of dinosaurs, giving the impression that the creatures defied gravity to walk across its surface, though a geological process is actually to blame.

The rock face, located in Denali National Park and Preserve, currently stands around 218 feet (66 meters). But around 70 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, the rock was muddy sediment that likely surrounded a watering hole on a large floodplain. This likely explains the diverse array of dinosaur prints in the cliff face — including the juveniles and adults of various large, plant-eating, duck-billed and horned dinosaurs, as well as carnivores such as raptors, nonavian flying reptiles and at least one tyrannosaur. 

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