4-year-old finds dino footprint in Wales!

One of the best-preserved dinosaur footprints ever found in the UK has been discovered by a little girl on a Welsh beach

Last month, 4-year-old Lily Wilder was walking along a rocky beach in Wales with her family when an unusual-looking boulder caught her eye. When she and her Dad stopped to take a closer look, they quickly realised it wasn’t just any old rock – it had a fossilised dinosaur footprint on it!

Fossil Footprint Found

Excited by what they might have found, the Wilder family called National Museum Wales to tell them about the discovery. Fossil expert Cindy Howells came to investigate, and confirmed what Lily suspected: it was a prehistoric footprint!

The amazing fossil has been examined by palaeontologists (scientists who study dinosaurs), who estimate that the footprint is around 220 million years old!

It belongs to a group of fossils called Grallator footprints, left by a variety of small dinosaurs, including the American Coelophysis. Lily’s discovery measures just over 10cm long, which means that the dinosaur who left it probably stood between 75cm and 2m tall! That’s about as tall as an emu!

The dinosaur would have been a slender animal, which walked on its two hind feet and actively hunted other small animals and insects.

Lily made her discovery on Bendrick’s Bay near Barry in South Wales. This area is a Site of Scientific Interest, known for its fossil finds!

“This fossilised dinosaur footprint is one of the best-preserved examples from anywhere in the UK“, said Cindy Howells, who works with fossils at National Museum Wales. “It will really help palaeontologists to get a better idea about how early dinosaurs walked.”

Thanks to Lily and her family, this fossil has been extracted and moved to National Museum Cardiff. There, it can be enjoyed by others for generations, and could have a significant impact on scientific research. Amazing work, Lily!

If you live near a rocky beach, make sure you keep your eyes peeled – your discovery could be the next to hit the headlines! Check out Nat Geo Kids’ Quick Guide to Fossil Hunting for tips on what to look for!

Thanks to National Museum Wales and the Wilder family for the images used in this article!

Have you ever found a fossil? Let us know in the comments below!

The post 4-year-old finds dino footprint in Wales! appeared first on National Geographic Kids.

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