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More Giant Dinosaur Tracks Found On Isle Of Skye

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Researchers have uncovered a new site of around 50 tracks on the windswept Isle of Skye. Some of the tracks are as big as car wheels, indicating that dinosaurs roamed the island around 170 million years ago.

This new study builds on previous finds regarding dinosaurs on Skye, including a vast collection of tracks that the same archeological team found in the northern part of the island in 2015, The Guardian reports.

The 2015 site showed hundreds of footprints made by enormous, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs called sauropods. This new discovery, however, on a site at Rubha nam Brathairean, or Brothers’ Point, reveals that the giant peace-loving creatures shared the same space as carnivorous dinosaur species.

Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist and co-author of the study from the University of Edinburgh, said,

Anytime we find new dinosaurs it is exciting, especially in Scotland because the record is so limited and also because these are Middle Jurassic dinosaurs and there are very few dinosaur fossils of that age anywhere in the world.

Some 170 million years ago, before the giant supercontinent Pangaea started to break into smaller pieces, the Isle of Skye was part of a smaller subtropical island that was closer to the equator, filled with beaches, lagoons and rivers.

Brusatte said, “This was a subtropical kind of paradise world, probably kind of like Florida or Spain today. [These prints] were made in a shallow lagoon – dinosaurs walking in very shallow water.”

One of Brusatte’s students came across the tracks while on a field trip along Skye’s coast in 2016. Brusatte related, “The tide went out and we noticed them. We knew that you could find these things in Scotland and if you were walking on tidal platforms and you saw holes in the rock, they could, possibly, be footprints.”

Using drones and camera equipment, the team unearthed around 50 dinosaur prints, including what seem to be two lines of tracks. Brusatte said, “We think of dinosaurs as thundering across the land, which of course they did, but in the Jurassic dinosaurs had become dominant, they had spread all over the world and they were living in all sorts of environments, even on the beaches, even in the lagoons.”

The study was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

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