Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/143

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139
NATURE'S HIEROGLYPHICS.

NATURE'S HIEROGLYPHICS.
By Dr. RICHARD S. LULL,
MASSACHUSETTS AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE, AMHERST, MASS.

ONE of the loveliest parts of all New England is the broad valley of the Connecticut River, of deep human interest because of its having been the theater of many of the conflicts during the struggle for existence between the white settlers and the aborigines, and occasionally one comes across a monument whose inscription tells of the fierce engagements of colonial days. More numerous still are the records of an earlier race, not in this instance of mankind, but of creatures far antedating man in antiquity, which have left involuntary inscriptions on the rocks.

 
PSM V66 D143 Amherst museum display of dinasaur tracks.png
Part of the Amherst College Museum.
The long slab shows six successive tracks of a tail-dragging carnivorous dinosaur.

For nearly a century these impressions have been observed by the good folk of the valley, though as many of them had to the uncritical eye the familiar appearance of bird tracks, they were considered as such, and to those who were unaware of their vast antiquity they were undoubtedly of little interest. As soon, however, as they became known to men who could appreciate their full significance, the impressions were at once recognized as being of great scientific interest, and it is to the efforts of the late President Edward Hitchcock, of Amherst College,