A little girl recently came across a perfectly preserved dinosaur footprint in Wales. Analyzed by a team of paleontologists, it would have been imprinted in the ground between 215 and 220 million years ago.
Four-year-old Lily Wilder made the discovery on January 23 while walking along a South Wales beach with her father and dog. The family were on their way to the supermarket when the little girl came across the print on a rock. “It was on a low rock, at Lily’s shoulder height. She spotted him and said, “Look, daddy!“”, Explains his mother, Sally Wilder, to NBC News. “She is really horny, but doesn’t understand how amazing it is“.
Initially, the Wilder couple thought that the impression of a little more ten centimeters long had been drawn on the rock by an artist. Nonetheless, Sally knew that similar footprints had already been found along this coast. That’s why she decided to post their discovery on social media.
Shortly thereafter, the National Museum for Wales made contact with the family, before retrieving the print for safekeeping at the National Museum in Cardiff “so that future generations can benefit from it and scientists can study it“, We read in a press release.
Month one meter high
Experts believe the footprint was likely left between 215 and 220 million years ago by a bipedal dinosaur measuring about 75cm high and 2.5m long who actively hunted other small animals and insects at the time.
On the other hand (and unfortunately) it is impossible to identify the species precisely. Experts call this type of printing a Grallator. It is an ichnotaxon, a genus attributed to footprints left on tracks made by a saurian, probably already a dinosaur, who lived at the end of the Triassic.
Always questioned by NBC News, the family says their daughter’s interest in dinosaurs has since flared. According to her mother, she keeps having fun with scale models of these animals and also watches a lot of shows on the subject. Obviously, the T-Rex is his favorite.
The National Museum in Cardiff, which is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meanwhile said Lily and her classmates will be invited to appreciate the fossil imprint as soon as possible.