3-toed dinosaur footprints found on U.K. beach

3-toed dinosaur footprints found on U.K. beach
3-toed dinosaur footprints found on U.K. beach

Engineers working to stop flooding on a beach in the UK made a “dramatic discovery” of dinosaur footprints, government officials announced Monday.

The Atmosphere Company engineers have been working on sea defenses on the Yaverland seafront on the Isle of Wight after they made the invention. The fossils date again about 125 million years.

Specialists consider the fossilized footprints might be from a mantellisaurus, a kind of dinosaur that had simply three toes on every foot and traveled on its hind legs. Such creatures have been extra widespread on the isle’s south coast, and a full-grown mantellisaurus could be about twice the size of a automobile. A mantellisaurus skeleton that is without doubt one of the most full dinosaur fossils in the UK was found on the Isle of Wight in 1917.

A mantellisaurus skeleton on show on the Pure Historical past Museum. / Credit score: The trustees of the Pure Historical past Museum

A number of dinosaur fossils have been found on the seafront in recent times, so a workforce from the native Dinosaur Isle Museum was on hand, officers mentioned, even earlier than the most recent fossils have been found. In keeping with Dr. Martin Munt, the curator of the museum, the Isle of Wight is “the richest dinosaur location in Europe.”

“What we now name the Isle of Wight was excellent habitat for dinosaurs, producing a various assortment of bones and fossils over millennia, a powerful roll-call for scientists to discover,” Munt mentioned within the information launch, noting that the realm was as soon as “heavy with vegetation, crocodiles, pterosaurs, amphibians, fish and invertebrates like bugs and freshwater mussels.”

Nick Grey, the flood and coastal-risk supervisor for the realm on the Atmosphere Company, mentioned in a press release that the discover exhibits the significance of coastal conservation.

Footprints found on the Isle of Wight.  / Credit: JBA Consulting/Environment Agency

Footprints found on the Isle of Wight. / Credit score: JBA Consulting/Atmosphere Company

“Dinosaurs present proper the place our workforce is working brings previous and new collectively – the trendy challenges of combatting local weather change with a time period we are able to solely think about,” he mentioned. “We have all learn the tales and seen the movies, however this offers us only a trace of what life was like. Lowering coastal flood and erosion threat to island folks, property and infrastructure is a precedence for the Atmosphere Company, however we’ll proceed to have extra dinosaur discoveries in thoughts.”

In June 2023, fossils of a previously unknown species of dinosaur have been found on the Isle of Wight. Researchers described the dinosaur species as having had “blade-like spiked armor,” and it was the primary species from the broader Ankylosaur household to be found on the isle in 142 years.

In 2022, scientists said {that a} devoted fossil hunter named Nick Chase had found the bones of a large crocodile-faced dinosaur on the isle’s seashores. From the bones found, researchers have been capable of decide that the creature was “greater than the largest recognized specimen” beforehand found in Europe.

The Isle of Wight is off the south coast of England.

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