With so much focus on looking outward, NASA, much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, never stopped to see the treasure in its own backyard, but for the agency that’s focus is firmly on the future, it isn’t surprising that 100 million-year-old evidence of life on Earth might be overlooked.
According to Robert T. Gonzalez at io9:
Recently discovered on the grounds of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, experts say the massive footprint was made by an armored, plant-eating dinosaur, lumbering through the Cretaceous mud 110 million years ago. More exciting, still: the discovery of smaller footprints during excavation suggests the giant herbivore had a baby in tow.
Thought to be a nodosaur, a literal tank of a dinosaur that could reach the size of a small elephant, researchers are keeping the exact location a secret, but are thrilled with the irony. As Ray Stanford, the amateur dinosaur tracker who made the discovery noted:
“Space scientists walk along here, and they’re walking where this big, bungling, heavy-armored dinosaur walked maybe 110, 112 million years ago. It’s just so poetic.”
The discoveries never end at NASA.Author on Google+