Unbelievable Dinosaur Fossils Found Right in Massachusetts
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I lived in Massachusetts from age 0-18, and no one told me that there were dinosaur fossils. You HAVE to be kidding.
If you do live in Massachusetts, or anywhere within a three hour drive of Holyoke, you may have to take a drive to see these fossils for yourself.
Amherst professor Edward Hitchcock published descriptions of footprints found in the Connecticut river valley from 1836 to 1865. At the time, he thought the footprints were attributed to birds, according to a Boston Public Library article.
Those must have been some pretty big birds for someone to confuse their footprints with dinosaur feet...
"We now know that these were the footprints of theropod dinosaurs from the Early Jurassic," according to the Boston Public Library. "According to Olsen, Smith, and McDonald (1998), Hitchcock's publications 'included the first descriptions of dinosaurian material from the Western Hemisphere as well as the first dinosaur footprints described anywhere.'"
So dinosaur fossils must be pretty hard to see and find, right? They must be in the woods hidden, or protected in a museum...nope.
Some of the fossils are right off of route 5 in Holyoke, and were actually found during road construction, according to the Instagram video below.
But there are more fossils from Jurassic times found in Massachusetts. Not just in Holyoke, but Boston, too.
According to the Boston Public Library, there were Trilobites that "swam and scuttled in the world’s seas for hundreds of millions of years, only to die out near the end of the Permian around 250 million years ago."
Some of those fossil specimens have been found just south of Boston. See, for example, Geyer and Landing (2001).