Dinosaur trackways were discovered in Cretaceous De Queen Limestone strata in Howard County, Arkansas, in June 2011. Multiple trackways with variably sized tridactyl tracks were exposed in a commercial quarry, suggesting multiple theropod species or adult and juvenile tracks of a single species. Results of morphometric analyses of 32 plaster casts from selected trackways are reported in an effort to identify the specific track-making dinosaurs and differentiate large and small tracks. Track measurements included length and width of each track, the lengths and widths of each digit impression, and the angular spread (divarication) between digit impressions. Twenty-nine plaster casts were of tridactyl theropod tracks whereas three casts were of poorly preserved tracks of a presumed but unknown tetradactyl (and possibly tetrapod) organism. Plaster casts of tridactyl theropod tracks ranged from 0.36 to 0.61 m long and 0.22 to 0.54 m wide. The longest digit impression on each track was the second, or middle, digit (range = 0.15 – 0.35 m long) with total digit divarication ranging from 31 - 57 degrees. The Arkansas track measurements were compared to tracks (Eubrontes glenrosensis Shuler 1935) preserved in the correlative Glen Rose Formation, Texas and attributed to the large Early Cretaceous carnosaur, Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. The E. glenrosensis track measurements from Texas plotted within the Arkansas data range, suggesting affinity of the Arkansas tracks to E. glenrosensis. Relatively poor preservation of tetradactyl tracks precluded morphometric analysis, but visual comparison to known Cretaceous crocodilian tracks is suggestive of affinity to such organisms.

Included in

Paleontology Commons