occur on the Guest farm Otjihaenamaparero
The tracks occur in sandstones
of the 190 million years old Etjo Formation. The sands
formed these sandstones accumulated under increasingly
arid conditions as wind blown dunes similar to the
Namib Desert today.
Numerous reptiles lived in
the interdune areas, but as the climate became drier,
these animals were forced to concentrate near waterholes,
small lakes and rivers fed by occasional rainfalls
and thunderstorms. Inevitably, their feet left imprints
in the wet sediment around the water. Later these
imprints were covered by other layers of wind blown
sand, and were preserved as trace fossils when the
sand solidified into rock due to the pressure that
built up as they were buried deeper and deeper.
At Otjihaenamaparero, two
crossing tracks consist of more than 30 imprints with
a size of approximately 45 by 35 cm. The longer tracks
can be followed for about 28 meters. There is a distance
of some 70 to 90 cm between individual imprints as
well as some tracks comprising smaller imprints of
about 7 cm length and spaced about 28 to 33 cm apart
All tracks show the form
of a three toed, clawed foot very well, and from their
arrangement it can be deducted that they were made
by the hind feet of a bipedal animal.
Unfortunately, no body fossils
of creatures that could be responsible for the tracks
have been found in the area so far, and one can therefore
only use comparison with other sites for identification.
Worldwide, about 900 dinosaur
species are known through the finds of body fossils,
however, only a few dozen footprint types have been
discovered (Lockley, 1991).
From these it can be concluded
that the dinosaur who left the footprints at Otjihaenamaparero
possibly belonged to the large order of >THERAPODA
<, which comprises all the carnivores.
The dimensions and the depth
of the imprints suggest that the dinosaur had an appreciable
Due to the unfavourable
changes in climate described above, it can be assumed
that the animals became extinct not long after they
left their footprints.
There are a number of localities
in the Etjo Sandstone that contain dinosaur footprints,
however, Otjihaenamaparero is the most impressive
one. The site has been declared a <
National Monument >, and the footprints
are protected by law.
Age of the Dino-Tracks approx. 219 million
> SYNTARSUS <
Gührich, G. (1926): Über Saurier-Fährten
aus dem Etjo-Sandstein, vom Südafrika. Palänt.
z., 8(1), 112-120
Lockley, M. (1991): Tracking Dinosaurs. 238
pp, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
The dinos in the river-scenery are from: www.dinosaur.net.cn/Museum
Please click „Links" for further
information about the Dinosaur footprints on our Guest
Admission fee Dinosaur's
Adults: 20 N$/Rand
Children (6-12 years old) : 10 N$/Rand
We are looking forward to your visit and
promise a wonderful and unforgettable stay on our
Guest Farm in Namibia
Adele und Reinhold Strobel
GUEST FARM Dinosaur's