by Jade Small

Around 170 million years ago, giant dinosaurs roamed Scotland, leaving a treasure chest of information in their footprints in the sand.

Made by two types of dinosaurs, long-necked cousins of Brontosaurus and theropod, sharp toothed cousins of Tyrannosaurus Rex. This second discovery last year on the Ilse of Sky at Brothers’ Point on the Trotternish peninsula providing extremely rare evidence of the Middle Jurassic period.

Thus far, around 50 footprints have been detailed, analysed and the roaming area mapped. Looking forward in anticipation of more details soon   Meanwhile, here’s what two experts from the University of Edinburgh had to say of this amazing find:

Paige dePolo in the University’s Research Master’s degree programme in palaeontology and geobiology  Research , who led the study:

“This tracksite is the second discovery of sauropod footprints on Skye. It was found in rocks that were slightly older than those previously found at Duntulm on the island and demonstrates the presence of sauropods in this part of the world through a longer timescale than previously known. This site is a useful building block for us to continue fleshing out a picture of what dinosaurs were like on Skye in the Middle Jurassic.”

Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the field team, said:

“The more we look on the Isle of Skye, the more dinosaur footprints we find. This new site records two different types of dinosaurs—long-necked cousins of Brontosaurus and sharp-toothed cousins of T. rex—hanging around a shallow lagoon, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance.”

The study, A sauropod-dominated tracksite from Rubha nam Brathairean (Brothers’ Point), Isle of Skye, Scotland, carried out by the University of Edinburgh, Staffin Museum and Chinese Academy of Sciences, was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology. It was supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society, and subsidiary funding from the Association of Women Geologists, Derek and Maureen Moss, Edinburgh Zoo and Edinburgh Geological Society.

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