Saturday , April 21 2018
Home / Science/Nature / Dinosaur tracks on Skye 'globally important'

Dinosaur tracks on Skye 'globally important'

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionSkye boasts world-class dinosaur prints

New light has been shed on a little understood period of dinosaur evolution after giant prehistoric footprints were discovered on the Isle of Skye.

Researchers, including some from Edinburgh University, have been analysing dozens of the footprints, left about 170 million years ago.

They found that the tracks belonged to sauropods and therapods from the Middle Jurassic period.

The discovery has been described as being "globally important".

Few fossil sites have been found around the world from the Middle Jurassic period.

The footprints, left in a muddy, shallow lagoon, are helping the researchers build a more accurate picture of an important period in dinosaur evolution.

Image copyright Jon Hoad
Image caption The Sauropod footprints were left in a muddy, shallow lagoon

Most of the prints were made by long-necked sauropods – which stood up to 2m (6.5ft) tall – and by theropods, which were the older cousins of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Researchers measured, photographed and analysed about 50 footprints in a tidal area at Brothers' Point – Rubha nam Brathairean – a headland on Skye's Trotternish peninsula.

The footprints were difficult to study owing to tidal conditions, the impact of weathering and changes to the landscape but the scientists identified two trackways in addition to many isolated footprints.

Analysis of the clearest prints enabled scientists to ascribe them to sauropods and theropods.

Image copyright Streve Brusatte
Image caption The footprints were discovered at Brothers' Point on the Isle of Skye

The study, carried out by the University of Edinburgh, Staffin Museum, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

Paige dePolo, who led the study said: "This tracksite is the second discovery of sauropod footprints on Skye. It was found in rocks that were slightly older than those previously found at Duntulm on the island and demonstrates the presence of sauropods in this part of the world through a longer timescale than previously known.

"This site is a useful building block for us to continue fleshing out a picture of what dinosaurs were like on Skye in the Middle Jurassic."

Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who led the field team, said: "The more we look on the Isle of Skye, the more dinosaur footprints we find.

"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."

About admin

Our goal is to help you improve your life and improve your standard of living and gain more knowledge about what to do in all cases whether Business and Investing or Arts and Entertainment or

Check Also

Plastic straw and cotton bud ban proposed

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFive ways to break up with plasticPlastic straws and cotton buds could be banned in England as part of the government's bid to cut plastic waste. Announcing a consultation on a possible ban ministers said 8.5bn plastic straws were thrown away in the UK every year. The prime minister said plastic waste was "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world". And Theresa May will urge leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which began earlier, to follow the UK's lead in tackling the problem. The Queen has formally opened the summit at an event at Buckingham Palace attended by prime ministers and presidents from the 53 states that make up the organisation. Mrs May claimed the UK was a "world leader" on tackling plastic waste, highlighting the charges that have been introduced for plastic bags, the ban on microbeads and the announcement in March of a consultation on introducing a deposit..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *