It may not be Jurassic Park, but it was from that era on the geologic record.
At least that's what Springtown Mayor Tom Clayton and many others have known over the years; that the city's park once had a famous visitor.
"About a month ago Rita Manning and her daughter went down to Walnut Creek in Springtown looking for arrowheads; the Creek travels through our city's park," Clayton said. "This happened to be a section of the creek dried up. It had water on one side - water on the other side - and the center of it was a couple of 100 feet long, completely dry."
Clayton said Manning had been to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose before, so when she came upon her discovery, she instantly knew what it was.
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"That's the thing, people could see stuff and not know what it is; or for that matter even recognize it," Clayton said. "But because of her trip to Glen Rose, she recognized dinosaur tracks and even posted her findings on Facebook asking questions about her discovery."
That's where the story takes off. Clayton said because of social media, "the right people saw the right post." That right person was Art Sahlstein who works at the Perot Museum in Dallas.
"Sahlstein identified the creature's tracks as having been made by an Acrocanthosaurus. He also helped determine how old the tracks were," Clayton said.
Clayton said obviously the city doesn't own the creek itself, it's a state waterway.
"That said, if anyone wants to do any excavating they would have to go through the Tarrant Regional Water District and several other agencies to get permission," Clayton said. "I'm not sure if anyone wants to do any digging, but maybe some will want to come and make a plaster cast of the tracks."
Clayton, who grew up in the region, said he wasn't really surprised with the discovery.
"We always knew there were things here before humans because of what they discovered in Glen Rose and other parts of the area," he said. "But with Art coming out it's ramped up the enthusiasm."
So it is exciting Clayton said, and it's exciting to the folks at Weatherford College.
"This discovery holds many thrilling opportunities for our local students and faculty at Weatherford College," said Dr. Allison Stamatis, Associate Professor of Life Sciences, Weatherford College - (WC). "I love taking my students on field trips during our science lab classes to natural attractions in our area, and this will be one to add to our list.
She said the ability to experience something firsthand often triggers life-long learning for students rather than simply reading in a textbook about an animal that lived millions of years ago.
"At WC we are striving to involve more students in research-based science, so it would be amazing if some of our students could get engaged in the initial research regarding this local find," she added.
Meanwhile, Clayton said everyone is welcome to see the finding as long as they check with the city first.
"Look at what it's done for Glen Rose; it's helped them out economically," Clayton said. "Somebody had to discover the first set of tracks and advertised it, which is what I'm focused on, as well as the historical aspect of it all."
Lance Winter: 817-390-7274