Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Rare dinosaur prints made 170 million years ago found in Scotland

Rare dinosaur prints made 170 million years ago found in Scotland

Whatever the dinosaurs were, the finding reinforces what palaeontologists discovered at Duntulm - that sauropods likely frequented and spent time in lagoons in Scotland in the Middle Jurassic.

The prints were found on Brothers' Point - Rubha nam Brathairean on the Trotternish peninsula on Skye's north eastern coast.

Dozens of purple and brown sea snails and limpets on Scotland's Isle of Skye have made a home in a rather unorthodox place: the water-filled, fossilized track marks left by dinosaurs about 170 million years ago, a new study finds. They used drones and cameras to map the site, explains a University of Edinburgh statement, and were able to make out many clear isolated footprints and two trackways.

Also spotted in the area were footprints of Theropods, another type of dinosaur that has sharp teeth and measures about two meters long.

Scientists are proclaiming a "globally important" breakthrough in the understanding of dinosaurs after a study into footprints found on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Dr Steve Brusatte, a geoscientist at Edinburgh University who led the field team, said: "We can tell they were made by sauropods - fairly primitive ones".

Teams of researchers work on uncovering as much evidence as they can find of dinosaurs that roamed our planet millions of years ago.

But a recent discovery of 170-million-year-old sauropod and theropod tracks are offering some clues, researchers reported yesterday (April 2) in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

The prints are thought to be the oldest dinosaur fossils ever found in Scotland and may shed light on an important period of dinosaur evolution, scientists said on Tuesday.

A student first discovered the footprints in 2016, which inspired the research, Mashable reported.

That site showed hundreds of footprints, nearly all from enormous, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs known as sauropods.

The footprints were hard to study owing to tidal conditions, the impact of weathering and changes to the landscape, the university said in a news release. Recently an worldwide team of researchers uncovered massive dinosaur footprints on Skye, a Scottish island, and published their findings in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

Paige dePolo, lead author of the study, wrote, "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".

The biggest footprint to be found was from a Sauropod.

This technology allowed the scientists to figure out the track outline, as well as the shape and orientation of the toes and presence of claws.

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