Dinosaur footprints dating back 200 million years discovered on Wales beach

The latest findings reveal that the footprints are unique and not common worldwide; further research could disclose interesting facts about Triassic life in the UK

Representational image. Pexels

Footprints discovered on a public beach indicated to the presence of dinosaurs from the late Triassic period in Wales more than 200 million years ago.

The tracks were discovered last year at the Penarth beach in southern Wales by a local.

Scientists during their initial research thought that the tracks were part of the ‘geological process’ of the beach, but later findings suggested that they were dinosaur footprints from the late Triassic period.

Dr Susannah Maidment, a member of the research team and a Paleontologist at London’s Natural History Museum said that the footprints were thought to belong to a very early sauropod or sauropod relative.

“We know early sauropods were living in Britain at the time,” CNN quoted Maidment as saying. She added that bones of a very early sauropod, Camelotia were been found in Somerset in rocks dated to the same period.

The researchers were not sure whether the footprints were of sauropods, however, they highlighted a possibility of the presence of something similar to sauropods.

“We believed the impressions we saw at Penarth were consistently spaced to suggest an animal walking,” said professor Paul Barrett, who is part of the research team. He added that they also saw displacement rims where mud had been pushed up. “These structures are characteristic of active movement through the soft ground,” he said.

The latest findings also disclosed information about dinosaurs’ behavioural qualities. The footprints were said to be unique and not common worldwide. Barrett added that further research would disclose interesting facts about Triassic life in the UK.

The Natural History Museum said that the tracks will remain on the Penarth beach until they are washed away by the tide.

As per UDA Today, the footprints were discovered along a 164 feet long area and were poorly preserved. The findings of the researchers were published in the journal Geological Magazine on 29 December, 2020.

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