This fossil is believed to be 220 million years old.
A four-year-old British girl surprised paleontologists when she discovered a perfectly preserved hundreds of millions of years old dinosaur footprint on a Welsh beach.
“SHE IS VERY ENTHUSIASTIC BUT IS NOT YET AWARE OF THE REACH OF HER FIND”
The rare find came on January 23, as Lily Wilder and her father were walking on a beach in Hendricks Bay, South Wales. “It was a low rock, shoulder height for Lily,” said Sally, her mother. “She is very enthusiastic but is not yet aware of the significance of her find. “
Initially, the Wilder family believed the spotted footprint, measuring just over three inches in length, had been carved into the rock by an artist. Knowing that similar prints had already been found along this part of the coast, Sally decided to post the find on social media anyway. “I found this page dedicated to fossil identification on Facebook and submitted our photo. The reactions have been surprising. “
Experts from the National Museum of Wales quickly contacted the Wilder family and recovered this 220 million-year-old imprint, which will be on display shortly. According to the first analyzes, it was most likely left by a bipedal dinosaur attached to the genus Grallator, which measured about 75 centimeters high and 2.5 meters long and fed on small animals or insects.
For Welsh paleontologists, it is nothing more or less than “the most beautiful dinosaur footprint found in Britain in the last decade”. Its excellent state of preservation (revealing the muscular and articular structure of the animal’s leg) could notably help scientists to learn more about the morphology of the first dinosaurs and their way of moving.
A KEY PERIOD FOR DINOSAURS
It is estimated that dinosaurs appeared around 230 million years ago (Triassic). According to the researchers, the time in which the specimen that originated the imprint lived was pivotal when these creatures diversified and explored different ecological niches. They would then have occupied a large part of present-day Great Britain.
Closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The National Museum in Cardiff said Lily and her classmates would be invited to visit and admire the fossil imprint as soon as it reopens. “Knowing that her name will be associated with this discovery and that her grandchildren may one day be taken to visit the museum is pretty incredible,” said Sally Wilder.
It is recalled that last August, a new species of dinosaur close to the T-Rex was discovered on the Isle of Wight