Footprints belonging to the biggest dinosaur to ever walk the earth were recently discovered on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The footprints are those of early sauropods, which grew to over 50 feet and could weigh more than 10 tons. The fossilized footprints are thought to be 170-million years old, making them the oldest dinosaur fossils ever found in Scotland.
The find is pretty significant for geologists. Physical evidence from the Middle Jurassic period have been hard to come by, and there aren’t many locations around the world where such fossils have been found. This new evidence suggests that dinosaurs were pretty prevalent on the Isle of Skye. Furthermore, the new evidence supports the theory that most dinosaurs were comfortable around water, and the huge sauropods would likely trudge through prehistoric lagoons in search of food.
Other dinosaur footprints have been found in the same location in the past. The footprints of ancient cousins of the Tyrannosaurus Rex were found in 2015. That information, combined with the new discovery of the sauropod prints, suggest that tall herbivores and meat-eaters were living on the Isle of Skye at the same time, side-by-side.
Scotland was much warmer 170 million years ago, so it’s no surprise that the huge animals frequented the lagoons and beaches that peppered the Isle of Skye. When comparing the two prints discovered, scientists say that the meat-eaters left footprints approximately the size of a basketball, while the larger sauropod prints are about the size of a car tire.
Researchers are hoping to find many more artifacts on the Isle of Skye, but so far they’ve managed to research and photograph 50 different footprints in a low tidal area of the island’s Trotternish peninsula called Brothers’ Point.
If you’re considering doing some dinosaur hunting on your own, and you can’t make it to Scotland, there are plenty of other locations throughout the world that are hot spots for artifacts. If you want a guarantee that you’ll find dinosaur relics, check out the Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah. If you’re traveling in Europe, you can stop by the Natural History Museum in west London for a similar experience.