Travel back in time to the Jurassic Period and discover an incredible find on England’s Yorkshire coast: the largest footprint of its kind ever discovered. An impressive 80 centimeters long, this fossil belonged to a giant meat-eating dinosaur 166 million years ago.
The coastline of Yorkshire is known for presenting visually and scientifically astounding fossils, such as thousands of dinosaur footprints. In April 2021, local archaeologist Marie Woods discovered an unusual print of millions of years old dinosaur.
No one could understand Marie
In April 2021, when Marie Woods made a remarkable discovery while out exploring the Yorkshire coast, no one believed her. Having seen smaller prints with her friends in the past, nothing could have prepared Woods for such an incredible find.
Astonished by what she saw before her eyes and bursting with excitement at finally being able to explore this prehistoric phenomenon firsthand, it became indisputable that “archaeologists do dinosaurs” after all.
Marie said, “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. I can no longer say that ‘archaeologists don’t do dinosaurs.’ At the time of the discovery, it generated a lot of public interest, and I was overwhelmed with the messages on social media from people around the globe.”
Marie was astounded by her find and, in disbelief, reached out to local fossil experts. However, none could provide any insight into the mysterious track she had stumbled upon. That’s when Marie decided to contact Dr. Dean Lomax – a renowned paleontologist from The University of Manchester and author of Dinosaurs of British Isles.
One of the only 6 fossil prints
Only six similar prints have been recorded in the area, and the first one was found back in 1934. This tridactyl (three-toed) print is the largest of all the recorded prints.
The previous one was discovered in 2006 and is displayed at the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough. John Hudson, who discovered the previous print, is the lead author of the new study that describes this giant find.
Local geologist, Hudson, said: “This important discovery adds further evidence that meat-eating giants once roamed this area during the Jurassic. The type of footprint, combined with its age, suggests that it was made by a ferocious Megalosaurus-like dinosaur, with a possible hip height between 2.5 and 3 meters.”
World’s first official dinosaur
In 1824, the world was introduced to its first official dinosaur – Megalosaurus. This giant carnivore roamed Southern England during the Middle Jurassic period, leaving behind bones that were discovered in Oxfordshire.
Although fossils from other locations have been attributed to this mysterious creature, it is only confirmed remains of Megalosaurus are those found near its original home.