Dinosaur Tracks Found on the Isle of Skye

Animals |

Dozens of dinosaur footprints have been found on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, shedding exciting new light on a period from which few fossils have survived. The Isle of Skye, or Skye, is the largest and northernmost of the major islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland. A newfound site is said to contain as many as 50 dinosaur footprints from more than 160 million years ago. A good number of these freshly discovered prints appear to belong to long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods.

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Michael Habib, a paleontologist from the University of Southern California, has said about this new find, “These tracks were sort of hiding in plain sight for years. It goes to show how sauropods are so much larger than everything else, that we field paleontologists are rarely looking for something of that scale at first.” Apparently, the footprints appeared to be tidal pools, but upon closer inspection outlines of toes and even traces of the heel pad could be seen. And this wasn’t all they found...

The Skye Guide

The team of scientists also discovered footprints with three toes which were more than likely made by theropods. These animals were older cousins of the Tyrannosaurus rex. The new tracks offer some insight into the Middle Jurassic, a period that lasted from around 164 to 174 million years ago. Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, said, “The Middle Jurassic was a pretty important time: It was some time around then that the first birds took to the sky, the first tyrannosaurs were evolving, the first really colossal sauropods were getting their start."

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He went on to add, "Skye is one of the few places you can find these fossils.” Above is an image of Rubha nam Brathairean, or Brother’s Point. This is where the footprints were found. Check out the video below to see more...


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