A footprint can tell a story. During the Jurassic period, about 166 million years ago, a huge carnivorous dinosaur roamed what is now Yorkshire, England.
At one point, he might have crouched and then stood up, leaving behind a truly gigantic footprint.
A team of researchers published a condition about the footprint in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society last Thursday (16).
The three-fingered footprint is 80 cm long. It is the largest of its kind ever found in Yorkshire. The biped was a carnivorous theropod, a famous example of which is the Tyrannosaurus rex.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I had to look twice,” archaeologist Mary Woods said in a statement from the University of Manchester. “I’ve seen some slight fingerprints when out with friends, but nothing like this.” Woods, who accidentally discovered the fossil, is a co-author on the study.
The footprint is a rare find in Yorkshire, as only six similar footprints have been found in the area. Analysis of the print indicates that the dinosaur was a type of megalosaurus, a large carnivore known to roam England during the Jurassic period. The height of the hip may reach three meters.
Another co-author of the study, Dean Lomax of the University of Manchester, said analysis of the footprint angle, shape and claw impressions shows the dinosaur may have crouched before standing.
One print makes it difficult to know for sure what the dinosaur was doing. “It’s fun to think that this dinosaur could have wandered across a muddy coastal plain on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the Jurassic period,” Lomax said.
The print was in danger of being damaged by erosion or tides, so experts collected it and brought it to the Scarborough Museum and Galleries in the UK, where it is expected to be on public display once restoration work is complete.
with information from Cnet
Featured image: Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society
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