Dinosaur footprint on beach from 220 million years ago found by 4-year-old girl
A dinosaur footprint was discovered on a beach in Wales this January with the help of a curious 4-year-old girl.
Lily Wilder was with her dad Richard at Bendricks Bay, a beach known for dinosaur footprints, when she made her find, National Museum Wales said in a statement last Friday, Jan. 29.
“Lily saw it as when they were walking along, and said ‘Daddy look,’” said Lily’s mom Sally. “When Richard came home and showed me the photograph, I thought it looked amazing.”
“Richard thought it was too good to be true. I was put in touch with experts who took it from there,” she added.
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The fossilized footprint, which measures about 10 centimeters long, was called the best specimen ever found on the beach by Cindy Howells, National Museum of Wales Palaeontology curator. It shows the structure of the dinosaur’s foot, as well as individual pads and claw impressions.
Based on the footprint, it is believed that the dinosaur was slender and walked on its two hind feet. It is estimated to have been 75 centimeters tall and 2.5 meters long, and it might have hunted for small animals and insects.
Though the dinosaur cannot be identified, it is known that the footprint was preserved from 220 million years ago. The footprint gives a glimpse of the early evolution of dinosaurs after they first appeared about 230 million years ago. Howell said the well-preserved footprint could help scientists learn more about how early dinosaurs walked.
The fossil has been legally removed from the beach after getting permission from Natural Resources Wales. It will be housed at the National Museum Cardiff. JB
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