Walking with dinosaurs: girl, 4, finds prehistoric footprint on a walk on the beach | UK news
A four-year-old girl found a dinosaur footprint, touted as one of the “best examples” ever found in Britain, while walking with her father during the lockdown.
Lily Wilder made the discovery in early January while out and about with father Richard in Bendricks Bay, near Barry.
South Wales Beach is known for its prehistoric prints, and the most recent example is believed to be around 220 million years old.
It has now been removed and taken to the National Museum of Wales be studied in Cardiff.
Lily’s mother Sally said, “Lily saw it as they walked on and said ‘Daddy look’.
“When Richard came home and showed me the photo, I loved it.
“Richard thought it was too good to be true. I was put in touch with experts who took it from there.
“We were thrilled to find out that it really was a dinosaur footprint, and I’m glad it is being brought to the National Museum where it can be enjoyed and studied for generations.”
It is not known which creature made the mark, which is 10 cm long, but it is believed that it was about 75 cm tall and 2.5 m long, walked on two legs, and hunted insects and smaller creatures.
Similar footprints have been found in the US that belonged to a dinosaur named Coelophysis, although no evidence of this creature has been found in the UK.
Cindy Howells, curator of paleontology at the National Museum of Wales, said: “This fossilized dinosaur footprint 220 million years ago is one of the best-preserved examples from across the UK and will help paleontologists get a better idea of what it is like early dinosaurs went.
“The museum’s acquisition is largely thanks to Lily and her family, who first discovered it.
“During the COVID Amgueddfa Cymru scientists have highlighted the importance of nature on people’s doorstep and this is a perfect example of that.
“Of course we don’t all have dinosaur footprints on our doorstep, but there’s an abundance of nature around you if you take the time to really look.”
Special permission had to be obtained to remove the footprint from the beach as it is a privately owned site of special scientific interest.