The discovery of giant prehistoric Footprints of dinosaur on the Isle of Skye has been described as being ‘globally important’.
Researchers including some from Edinburgh University are examining dozens of the footprints which dates back170 million years.
They discovered that the tracks belong to sauropods and therapods from the Middle Jurassic period. The few fossil sites have found globally from the Middle Jurassic period.
The footprints left in a muddy, shallow lagoon. These are also helping the researchers to shape a more accurate depiction of an important period in dinosaur evolution.
Most of the prints belong to long-necked sauropods. It stood up to 2m (6.5ft) tall by theropods, which also considered the older cousins of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Researchers measured and analyzed about 50 footprints at Brothers’ Point ‘Rubha nam Brathairean’. It is a headland on Skye’s Trotternish peninsula.
Due to tidal conditions, it also proved difficult for researchers to study the impact of weathering and changes to the landscape. However, the scientists identified two trackways besides many isolated footprints.
The Team Effort
Moreover, University of Edinburgh, Staffin Museum, and Chinese Academy of Sciences carried out the study. The study published in the Scottish Journal of Geology.
Paige dePolo said : “This tracksite is the second discovery of sauropod footprints on Skye. It was found in rocks that were slightly older than those previously found at Duntulm on the island and demonstrates the presence of sauropods in this part of the world through a longer timescale than previously known.”
“This site is a useful building block for us to continue fleshing out a picture of what dinosaurs were like on Skye in the Middle Jurassic.”
Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences who also led the field team said:
“The more we look on the Isle of Skye, the more dinosaur footprints we find”.
“This new site records two different types of dinosaurs-long-necked cousins of Brontosaurus and sharp-toothed cousins of T-Rex-hanging around a shallow lagoon, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance.”
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