Footprints from not less than six totally different species of dinosaur – the final dinosaurs to stroll on UK soil 110 million years in the past – have been present in Kent, a brand new report by researchers has claimed.
The discovery of dinosaur footprints by a curator from Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and a scientist from the University of Portsmouth is the final report of dinosaurs in Britain.
The footprints have been found within the cliffs and on the foreshore in Folkestone, Kent, the place stormy situations have an effect on the cliff and coastal waters, and are consistently revealing new fossils.
“This is the first time dinosaur footprints have been found in strata known as the ‘Folkestone Formation’ and it’s quite an extraordinary discovery because these dinosaurs would have been the last to roam in this country before becoming extinct,” mentioned David Martill, Professor of Palaeobiology, on the University of Portsmouth.
“They were walking around close to where the White Cliffs of Dover are now – next time you’re on a ferry and you see those magnificent cliffs just imagine that,” he mentioned.
The findings have been revealed within the journal ‘Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association’ this week and a number of the footprints are on show at Folkestone Museum.
The footprint fossils fashioned by sediment filling the impression left behind when a dinosaur’s foot pushes into the bottom, which then preserves it.
The footprints are from a wide range of dinosaurs, which exhibits there was a comparatively excessive range of dinosaurs in southern England on the finish of the Early Cretaceous interval, 110 million years in the past.
They are considered from ankylosaurs, rugged-looking armoured dinosaurs which have been like dwelling tanks; theropods, three-toed flesh-eating dinosaurs just like the Tyrannosaurus rex; and ornithopods, plant-eating ‘bird-hipped’ dinosaurs so-called due to their pelvic construction being just a little bit just like birds.
Philip Hadland, Collections and Engagement Curator, on the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is lead creator on the paper.
“Back in 2011, I came across unusual impressions in the rock formation at Folkestone. They seemed to be repeating and all I could think was they might be footprints,” mentioned Hadland.
“This was at odds with what most geologists say about the rocks here, but I went looking for more footprints and as the tides revealed more by erosion, I found even better ones. More work was needed to convince the scientific community of their validity, so I teamed up with experts at the University of Portsmouth to verify what I’d found,” he mentioned.
Most of the findings are remoted footprints, however one discovery contains six footprints – making a “trackway”, which is multiple consecutive print from the identical animal.
This trackway of prints are comparable in dimension to an elephant footprint and have been recognized as more likely to be an Ornithopodichnus, of which comparable, however smaller-sized footprints have additionally been present in China from the identical time interval.
The largest footprint discovered – measuring 80 cm in width and 65 cm in size – has been recognized as belonging to an Iguanodon-like dinosaur.
Iguanodons have been additionally plant-eaters, grew as much as 10 metres lengthy and walked on each two legs or on all fours.
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