170-million-year-old Dinosaur Footprints Discovered on the Isle of Skye
Dinosaur fans need to plan a trip to Scotland.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Earth was once inhabited by larger-than-life reptiles who meandered about, eating grass, swimming through the sea, and generally just trying to avoid running into their predators. But sometimes, a giant reminder comes around that there was a time when man didn’t rule the planet.
According to The Telegraph, the footprints were left about 170 million years ago by sauropods, a species of dinosaur that grew to be at least 49 feet long and weighed more than 10 tons. Smaller T-Rex prints were also found nearby.
"It's important because it's a large site for dinosaur tracks, those are pretty hard to find,” Dr. Steve Brusatte of Edinburgh University told The Telegraph. "It shows both long-necked and meat-eaters were on the same site at the same time living together, side-by-side. It captures a moment in time 170 million years ago when they were just hanging out in a lagoon, living on the beach, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance.”
The findings, researchers noted, also showed that many dinosaur species lived near water, and would often wade through the area’s lagoons in search of food. Though, the Scotland you know today looked nothing like the home these dinosaurs lived in millions of years ago.
“This was a subtropical kind of paradise world, probably kind of like Florida or Spain today,” Brusatte told The Guardian. “[These prints] were made in a shallow lagoon – dinosaurs walking in very shallow water.”
And surely, the giant creatures were enjoying their time in paradise, just like we do today.
“These dinosaurs look like they were just lingering, they were just kind of loitering,” Brusatte said. “This seems to be a snapshot into a day in the life of some dinosaurs and I think that is just pretty cool.”