A four-year-old UK girl, Lily Wilder, has made an amazing discovery while walking on a beach in Wales along with her father and pet dog. She found a well-preserved dinosaur footprint, which is thought to have been left 220 million years ago.
The discovery of ancient imprint, which has excited paleontologists all around the world, took place near Bendricks Bay in south Wales, the UK. The mother of the kid, Sally Wilder, 41, told NBC News on Saturday, January 30: "It was on a low rock, shoulder height for Lily, and she just spotted it and said, 'look Daddy.'"
According to Lily's mother, who is an engineer, her daughter was very excited after she found the footprint but could not understand how important it was. The father of the four-year-old kid took images of the footprint and shared them with other family members. But it was Lily's grandmother who understood the importance of the discovery and encouraged the family to contact local experts, as well as fossil enthusiasts for further investigation.
The Ancient Giant
Almost every country in Europe has been the final resting place of dinosaurs, including huge predators like Allosaur, Stegosaurus smaller ancient species that used to live on an insect diet. In Romania, researchers found the remains of mostly smaller dinosaurs, such as the "ostrich-headed" armored Sruthiosaurus, which used to be only seven feet long.
Last year, paleontologists from the University of Edinburgh said that they found grapefruit-sized footprints on the Isle of Skye. They believed that these footprints were left by a Stegosaurus. According to The Guardian, the imprints were noticed on rocks that were formed from the mudflats almost 170 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic—a period when this group of ancient giants was beginning to evolve and spread out.
After the recent discovery by the four-year-old kid, Cindy Howells, Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum of Wales paleontology curator, told NBC News that it is impossible to identify exactly which type of dinosaur left the footprint, which is 10-centimeter long. But according to her understanding, it is possible that the dinosaur was 75 centimeters tall and 2.5 meters long.
"It's brilliant. It really is stunning preservation ... You can see every detail of the muscles and where the joints are in the foot," she added.
Howells said that unfortunately, there are no fossilized bones to match the newly found footprint. However, she added that similar imprints had been found in the US belonging to the dinosaur "coelophysis."
As per Howells, the scientists have not yet discovered a fraction of the total dinosaur species. So, the footprint found by Lily has become a very useful "clue", she added.
The National Museum Cardiff said in a statement that the safely removed dinosaur footprint will soon be taken to the museum, which is currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Once it reopens, Lily will be invited to the museum and her name will be listed as the finder of the discovery.