Dinosaur footprints found on Scottish island unearth Jurassic secrets



BERLIN (dpa)- A muddy lagoon on a Scottish island contains the clues to a "lost era," scientists said on Tuesday, on announcing the discovery of dozens of dinosaur footprints at the site.
The footprints, dating back around 170 million years, were discovered on what is now the north-east coast of the Isle of Skye, west of mainland Scotland.



"Most of the prints were made by long-necked sauropods – which stood up to 2 metres tall – and by similarly sized theropods, which were the older cousins of tyrannosaurus rex," a statement posted on the University of Edinburgh's website said.
Researchers from the university recorded and analysed around 50 footprints at the site, in what is being described as a "globally important" discovery for our understanding of the Jurassic period.
The study was carried out by the University of Edinburgh, Skye's Staffin Museum and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology.
Paige dePolo, a graduate student who led the study, said it "demonstrates the presence of sauropods in this part of the world through a longer timescale than previously known."
"The more we look on the Isle of Skye, the more dinosaur footprints we find," said Steve Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences.
"This new site records two different types of dinosaurs — long-necked cousins of brontosaurus and sharp-toothed cousins of T rex — hanging around a shallow lagoon, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance," he added.
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Wednesday, April 4th 2018
dpa
           


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