Cal Orcko is a small town that is situated three miles south of the city of Sucre in Bolivia. It is home to the largest and most spectacular collection of dinosaur footprints of the Cretaceous era.
Even though the site remained closed for almost eight years after this paleontological discovery, it has been opened for visitors now.
The most prominent tracks on the limestone wall are those of the quadrupedal titanosaurs. The tracks of the bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs can also be found across the entire wall.
Other dinosaur species whose footprints were found on the wall include the theropods, ornithopods, ankylosaurs, and quadrupedal ornithopods.
The wall gives an impression that the dinosaurs were walking vertically. But in reality, the wall was originally the floor of a shallow lake from the Cretaceous period. It was due to tectonic movements that the floor became vertical.
According to geologists, the floor of the lake has moved several times as a result of tectonic plate movement. Sixty-eight million years ago, the floor was walked upon by hundreds of dinosaurs leaving behind their footprints in the process.
The unique climate fluctuations at Cal Orko, Bolivia are believed to be the reason behind the spectacular presence of paleontological remains.
When drought hit the area, the tracks solidified. Wet weather returned once again and sealed the footprints below layers of sediment and mud. Experts believe that this wet-dry pattern was repeated as many as seven times which led to the prints getting preserved on the floor of the lake.
And the best part was that tectonic activities shifted the floor into a vertical viewing angle, enabling this wonderful paleontological spectacle to be viewed by the species that continued living on this planet after the dinosaurs.
The Cal Orko Parque Cretacico hosts a museum, and models of dinosaurs, fossils, and related paleontological information and offers a guided, one-hour tour to a few selected areas of the dinosaur footprint wall.
The guides point out the footprints of the Theropods (carnivorous dinosaurs) and Sauropods (long-neck herbivores). Lengths of the footprint trackways range from 26 feet to as long as an amazing 65 feet.
This amazing limestone slab serves as a record and offers a glimpse of the ever-changing history that took place in the Cretaceous era.