A group of researchers on the Skye Isle, in Scotland, bumped into a hidden and historical treasure, namely, huge dinosaur footprints that can help them shed light on an important period of the evolution of these creatures, the Middle Jurassic which dates back to 170 million years ago.
The discovery was made in Brother’s Point (Rubha nam Brathairean), where are about 50 footprints of dinosaurs, extraordinarily well-preserved, most of them belonging to sauropods (long-necked herbivores) and theropods (carnivores like the Tyrannosaurus).
These findings are crucial because they help scientists better understand an important period of the evolutionary history of the dinosaurs, the Middle Jurassic. This period was important in the evolution of the dinosaurs because, back then, the first dinosaur-birds reached the skies, the carnivorous species diversified, and the long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs began to grow in size.
The discovery of these huge dinosaur footprints proves some older theories
The site where the discovery was made is an isolated place, whipped by the sea and the inclemencies of time, a reason why the processes of erosion and the changes in the landscape have made some of the footprints of the dinosaurs difficult to research and identify.
However, the team from the University of Edinburgh managed to positively identify two footprints and several isolated ones. Based on the shapes of these, the researchers found that the footprints were made by sauropods and by theropods.
Of course, the exact species have not yet been identified but researchers believe that at least some of the sauropod footprints belong to the Ichnotaxon Breviparopus.
On the other hand, finding these huge dinosaur footprints reinforces what paleontologists have discovered in Duntulm, namely, that sauropods probably frequented and spent their time in the lagoons of Scotland, in the Middle Jurassic.
As said, the newly found huge dinosaur footprints on the Skye Island help scientists to better understand one of the most important but mysterious periods in the evolution of dinosaurs, the Middle Jurassic.