May 18, 2024

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200 million year old dinosaur footprints found in the UK

Experts said the footprints discovered on a beach in Wales could belong to a dinosaur that lived there more than 200 million years ago.

Paleontologists at the Natural History Museum London He stated that the footprints, which date back to the Triassic period, may have been from a sauropod or some close relative of the species.

Dr. Susanna Maidment, a paleontologist at the museum involved in the research, said. , in a statement revealing the results.

“We don’t know if the species is responsible for the imprint, but there is other evidence to suggest something of a genus,” he said.

Maidment and her colleague, Professor Paul Barrett, initially received images uploaded from Penarth Beach tracks by an amateur paleontologist in 2020. At first, they were skeptical of the findings.

“We get a lot of inquiries from the public about things that might be captured, but many of them are geomarkers that can cause confusion,” Maidment said.

“However, from the photos, we thought there was a high possibility that something like that could be a fingerprint and that it was worth a look”

The two worked with colleagues and discovered that the site had been previously examined by Cindy Howells, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Wales, a French team, and a group from Cardiff University.

Maidment and Barnett came to the scene to explore the track and take measurements.

“We believed that the footprints we saw in Penarth were constantly spaced to indicate a walk for the animals. We also saw offset collars where the mud was pushed up. These structures are characteristic of active movement across soft terrain,” Barrett said in the museum’s announcement of the findings.

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The results could also reveal information about the behavioral traits of dinosaurs — the way they walked and traveled in herds, for example.

The footprints, dating from the Triassic period, may have been sauropods or some close relatives of the species / Photo: Peter Falkingham / London Natural History Museum

“These types of tracks are not particularly common around the world, so we think this is an interesting addition to our knowledge of Triassic life in the UK. The record of Triassic dinosaurs in this country is very small, so anything we can find from That period adds to our picture what was happening at that time.”

The museum said that the footprints will remain on the beach until it is eroded by the tide.