In April of 2016, researchers Davide Foffa and Hong-Yu Yi discovered a series of giant fossilized sauropod footprints on Scotland’s west coast.
The Isle of Skye, a popular travel destination for tourists, quickly became the destination for a team of researchers funded by the National Geographic Society.
The sauropod tracks are estimated to be over 170 million years old, and were left by the world’s largest dinosaurs. Even the smallest of the sauropods grew to over 50 feet in length and weighed well over 10 tons.
In the two years since the discovery, researchers have photographed and studied some 50 new footprints. They found the tire-sized, rounded tracks of sauropods as well as the basketball-sized, three-toed tracks of theropods — the older relatives of Tyrannosaurus Rex. All were dated to the middle Jurassic period, which led researchers to the conclusion that long-necked dinosaurs and meat-eaters were likely roaming the same territories at the same time.
Edinburgh University’s Dr Steve Brusatte explained, “It’s important because it’s a large site for dinosaur tracks, those are pretty hard to find. It shows both long-necked and meat-eaters were on the same site at the same time living together, side-by-side. It captures a moment in time 170 million years ago when they were just hanging out in a lagoon, living on the beach, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance.”
The team has identified several other potential high traffic areas on the Isle of Skye and intends to return to the site later in 2018.