By Chris Dyer
Rare dinosaur footprints belonging to the largest animal to ever roam the planet have been found in Scotland. Dozens of the 170 million-year-old fossils, belonging to early sauropods, have been unearthed in a muddy lagoon on the Isle of Skye.
Sauropods grew to be at least 49ft (15 metres) long and weighed more than 10 tonnes. Footprints from theropods – the “older cousins” of Tyrannosaurus rex who stood at two metres tall – were also found.
They are thought to be the oldest dinosaur fossils ever found in Scotland. Another set of footprints were also found on Skye in 2015,but are slightly younger and slightly smaller.
Geologists say the new finds are important as evidence from the Middle Jurassic period is rare, and few such fossil sites have been found around the world.
The discovery adds to growing evidence the prehistoric reptiles were widespread on Skye at a pivotal time in their evolution.
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