COUNCIL CHRONICLE – Giant tracks embedded in rock seemingly belonging to dinosaurs have recently been found on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This could help us get a closer glimpse into the lives of these creatures during one of the lesser understood eras of prehistory.
Giant Dinosaur Tracks from Middle Jurassic Period Found on Skye
These tracks were first discovered by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The team of specialists managed to detect about 50 new footprints perfectly preserved. These were dated to be from close to 170 million years ago, namely somewhere in the Middle Jurassic period.
The footprints were found preserved in a lagoon near Brother’s Point, a location on the Isle of Skye. It is currently believed that two different species of dinosaurs left these tracks. One of them were long-necked sauropods and the other the sharp-toothed theropods. Their total numbers in the area are currently still unknown.
In the images initially captured via drone photography, two sets of tracks can be clearly identified. Whether this indicates that only two of the creatures was present or if multiple footprints overlapped could not be established.
Either way, this presents an intriguing picture of how these two species may have coexisted in the area all those years ago. Theropods are by nature predators, but if the tracks were made around the same time as those from the long-necked sauropods, it would indicate they may have liked to stay around water sources like the lagoon.
This might have been a usual habit when not actively hunting, as they were seemingly passive to potential prey during such periods.
For the time being, though, these conclusions will remain within the realm of speculation. Even so, each new discovery like this helps us further expand our knowledge regarding prehistoric life, a sentiment echoed by Steve Brusatte, one of the co-authors of the study that looked at and uncovered the prints.
A paper with the current study findings is available in the Scottish Journal of Geology.
Image Source: Wikimedia