- A large dinosaur footprint left 166 million years ago was found on the British coast.
- It appears to capture the moment a Megalosaurus-like dinosaur stopped for a rest by the beach.
- Local archaeologist Marie Wood discovered the print while collecting shellfish on the shore.
A record-breaking dinosaur footprint that was left some 166 million years ago by a meat-eating Megalosaurus has been found on the British coast.
The 3-foot-long footprint, discovered in Burniston Bay, captures the moment the dinosaur stopped to rest by the beach, according to new findings published Thursday.
“I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, I had to do a double take. I have seen a few smaller prints when out with friends, but nothing like this,” said Marie Woods, who found the footprint as she was foraging for shellfish, according to local news outlet The Scarborough News.
The footprint was likely left by a therapod, a class of two-legged dinosaurs with three toes that includes the Tyrannosaurus rex.
The size of the footprint suggests the dinosaur was probably a Megalosaurus between 8 and 9 feet-high at the hip.
The shape of the print and the way the claws dug into the soil provide clues about the animal’s behavior, said Dean Lomax, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester and an author of the study.
Scientists think it means the animal was squatting before standing up when it left the track.
“It’s fun to think this dinosaur might well have been strolling along a muddy coastal plain one lazy Sunday afternoon in the Jurassic,” said Lomax in a press release.
The jurassic coast in Yorkshire, England, is known for its striking dinosaur footprints and fossils. But this one is likely the largest footprint ever found in the area, the scientists said.
To protect the print from erosion or landslips, the footprint has now been collected and will go on display in a local museum.
The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society on Thursday.