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A scientist walking on a path measuring the footprints left in the dirt.
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Top Photo: As the water dried up, incredibly detailed dino tracks were revealed in Texas! Photo credit: Dinosaur Valley State Park

What’s more than 100 million years old and still making news? Dinosaurs!

A drought has revealed dinosaur tracks from 113 million years ago at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. The prints were hidden beneath the Paluxy River until last month.

“Due to the excessive drought conditions this past summer, the river dried up completely in most locations, allowing for more tracks to be uncovered here in the park,” the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a statement. “Under normal river conditions, these newer tracks are under water and are commonly filled in with SEDIMENT, making them buried and not as visible.”

Most of the prints were left by Acrocanthosaurus— a theropod that stood 15 feet, weighed 7 tons! The tracks present a valuable opportunity for researchers to learn more about the dinosaurs’ behavior and daily lives.

But these giants and their tracks aren’t the only dinosaurs getting attention these days. A new species of horned dinosaur was recently named after being discovered in New Mexico!

Researchers first came across a bone sticking out of the ground way back in 1975. The bone was attached to a nearly complete skull, and scientists have spent the last few decades cleaning and researching the find at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Turns out, the skull belonged to a species previously unknown to science. The new species has recently been named Bisticeratops froeseorum.

The new species is believed to have lived around 74 million years ago in the Cretaceous Era, which ended when an asteroid struck Earth and killed the majority of the dinosaurs. Bisticeratops were around 16 to 20 feet long, weighed up to four tons, and possessed huge horns.

The newly discovered species is a member of the ceratopsid dinosaurs—making it a relative of the herbivorous Triceratops!

The discovery will allow researchers to learn more about dinosaurs—not only how they lived, but also how the family tree of dinosaurs evolved.

Mac Solo wearing a baseball cap in pilot uniform standing in front of a plane.Teen Youngest to Fly Solo Around the World

Most of us look forward to our birthdays and making fun plans, but Mack Rutherford took it to the next level. The pilot, nicknamed Mack Solo, celebrated his 17th birthday on a plane while flying solo around the world. He is now the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo!

That title is one of four Guinness World Record titles he now holds, including also being the youngest person to CIRCUMNAVIGATE the world by microlight solo. He departed Sofia, Bulgaria, on March 23 of this year and landed in the same city on Aug. 24. His journey took him across 52 countries, five continents and two oceans!

“With this journey, I’m trying to show that young people can make a difference. You don’t have to be 18 to do something special—just follow your dreams and they’ll eventually come true,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford completed his journey aboard a small, single-engine aircraft known as a Shark. It is an ultralight aircraft which can hit a cruising speed of roughly 186 miles per hour. The small aircraft forced him to land occasionally when weather conditions got rough, and he only traveled by daylight. When he landed, he was able to meet people across the globe.

Mack isn’t the only Rutherford setting records—his sister, Zara, broke two solo aviation records herself earlier this year. She was the previous record holder for being the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by microlight solo until her brother broke the record. Zara retains the title of the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.

The Rutherfords grew up mostly in Belgium, with Belgian and British parents—both of whom are pilots as well. Aviation goes back multiple generations in his family, and Mack first qualified for his pilot’s license when he was 15. His parents and sister stayed in daily contact with Mack while he was circumnavigating the globe. He said he isn’t sure what his future holds, but he knows it will involve flying!

Edition: 
Phoenix
Issue: 
September 2022