Dinosaur footprints preserved as natural casts, including the ichnogenera Anchisauripus and Grallator, from Middlesex County, Connecticut

Ichnology is the study of tracks and traces. Over 1,100 individual slabs with numerous tracks and traces of early Jurassic (~200 mya) lifeforms comprise the Hitchcock Ichnology Collection.

Edward Hitchcock amassed this collection beginning in 1835 from his own work in the sandstone deposits of the Connecticut Valley, as well as collecting efforts of people such as Dr. James Dean, Roswell Field and Dexter Marsh. Most famous are the dinosaur tracks, but equally common are smaller reptile and amphibian traces, and invertebrate trails.

Probably the most historically important specimen in all of the collections is "Noah's Raven," the first confirmed evidence of a dinosaur to be found in North America. This trackway was found in 1802 by Pliny Moody in South Hadley, 40 years before dinosaurs were identified as a fossil group and while most westerners believed in the Biblical account of Earth's history.

For more information, visit The Edward Hitchcock Virtual Ichnological Cabinet, part of the Triassic-Jurassic Footprint Project.