Rare 200-million-year-old dinosaur footprints found on seaside in Wales, scientists consider

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Scientists say that 1.6-foot-long impressions found on a seaside in Wales may very well be footprints of dinosaurs. The “rare” tracks, they mentioned, are 200 million years outdated, indicating that dinosaurs from the late Triassic interval as soon as roamed the world. 

The footprints have been discovered by a member of the general public close to the shoreline on a seaside at Penarth in 2020 and reported to London’s Natural History Museum. Paul Barrett, a palaeobiology researcher on the museum, helped lead a research of the tracks, which was printed in Geological Magazine on December 29. 

The tracks found are inside a roughly 164-foot lengthy space, with every measuring as much as roughly 1.6 toes lengthy, scientists mentioned. The impressions, although “poorly preserved,” have marked displacement rims and are repeatedly spaced aside, indicating that they’re footprints slightly than rock constructions. 

The variety of prints additionally signifies it might need been a “trample ground” for dinosaurs, researchers mentioned of their research.

“There are hints of trackways being made by individual animals, but because there are so many prints of slightly different sizes, we believe there is more than one trackmaker involved,” Barrett mentioned in a museum press launch. “These types of tracks are not particularly common worldwide, so we believe this is an interesting addition to our knowledge of Triassic life in the UK. Our record of Triassic dinosaurs in this country is fairly small, so anything we can find from the period adds to our picture of what was going on at that time.”

The researchers mentioned they can not say with certainty what sort of dinosaur created the tracks, however that they consider it could have been a sort of a biped sauropodomorph, a long-necked herbivorous dinosaur identified to be among the many largest that roamed the Earth.

The museum mentioned the particular dinosaur might have been just like the Camelotia, whose fossils have been found in Southwest England from rocks relationship again to the same interval. 

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Detail photos of particular person tracks believed to belong to dinosaurs.

Cambridge University Press


Photos of the tracks seem to indicate digit impressions, however the tracks are “highly weathered,” researchers mentioned, making it “difficult, or even impossible, to determine if they were all made by the same taxon, or by several species.”

What they did discover, nonetheless, is that the tracks have been shaped within the late Triassic interval between 237 and 201 million years in the past. 

“We think the tracks are an example of Eosauropus, which is not the name of a particular dinosaur species but for shape of a type of track thought to have been made by a very early sauropod or a prosauropod,” Barrett mentioned. ‘We know these sorts of dinosaur have been dwelling in Britain on the time, as bones of the sauropod Camelotia have been present in Somerset in rocks dated to the identical age.”

The tracks analyzed have been uncovered a number of instances over the previous decade, the researchers mentioned, and have been famous by a number of members of the general public. Some of the researchers began to formally doc the tracks in 2009, creating fashions and mapping the positioning, however their work went unpublished and was not additional disseminated till now.

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