Researchers have unearthed some important facts which have helped to know more about dinosaur evolution period. They have discovered giant footprints of the dinosaurs in Scotland’s Isle of Skye. As per the report, the team of researchers, including some researchers from Edinburgh University discovered around 50 footprints of the dinosaurs. The footprints were estimated to be around 170 million years old and belonged to sauropods and theropods. This also helped to know that the animals were from the Middle Jurassic period.
The team also consisted of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Staffin Museum, Scotland. They discovered the giant tracks in a shallow part of a lagoon on the coast of Isle of Skye. The team has described the finding as globally important. As per the study the footprints were left behind by long-necked dinosaurs and forebear of Brontosaurus called Sauropods and some footprints were made by therapods, relatives of Tyrannosaurus Rex. They had sharp teeth and stood up to two meters long (around 6.5ft). In length, they were around 49 feet and weighed nearly 10 tones. Generally, therapods were carnivores but with time they started evolving and became herbivores, omnivores, and insectivores. The biggest footprint with 70 cm long was from a Sauropod and the biggest footprint made by Therapod measures around 50 cm long. The impact of weather condition and tidal conditions were made footprints difficult to study but they managed to discovered two trackways from isolated footprints using images taken by drone and cameras.
The study was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology supported by National Geographic Society. The study was also funded by the Association of Women Geologists, Derek and Maureen Moss, Edinburgh Geological Society, and the Edinburgh Zoo. The oldest dinosaur fossils to be discovered in the U.K. are the 200-million-year-old skull and bones which belonged to the Dracoraptor Hanigan. It was discovered in 2014 in Lavernock Beach situated in South Wales.
The lead researcher, Paige dePolo stated, “The site of This track is the second discovery of Sauropod footprints on Skye. his 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.” Paige further added that the new findings from this site are important for scientists. It will help to understand what dinosaurs were like during the Middle Jurassic period and will provide major facts on the evolution of dinosaurs. This will also help to understand the condition of the world 170 million years ago.
Dr. Steve Brusatte from Edinburgh University stated, “It captures a moment in time 170 million years ago when they were just hanging out in a lagoon and living on the beach.” During that time the region was warmer making it perfect for them to live and march to global dominance. As these types of footprints are rare, the researchers will try to find out answers to some important questions related to the dinosaurs’ evolution. However, the team is now trying to discover more such footprints in that area.