12:46 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Dinosaur footprints have been found by scientists on the Isle of Skye. The collection of hundreds and footprints, some spanning 70 cm is the largest Jurassic site discovered in Scotland.

    The rare tracks of handprints and footprints were made by plant-eating 'sauropods' and date back more than 170 million years ago.

    "There are so many tracks crossing each other that it looks like a dinosaur disco preserved in stone," said Dr Steve Brusatte from Edinburgh University's School of GeoSciences.

    Brusatte and a team of scientists identified the fossilized tracks in layers of rock that once lay at the bottom of a salt water lagoon on the Isle of Skye.

    "The new track site from Skye is one of the most remarkable dinosaur discoveries ever made in Scotland. By following the tracks you can walk with these dinosaurs as they waded through a lagoon 170 million years ago, when Scotland was so much warmer than today," said Dr Brusatte.

    The colossal, long-necked animals are the biggest of all dinosaurs and related to the more well-known brontosaurus and diplodocus.

    Dr Tom Challands, also from the university's school of GeoSciences said: "This find clearly establishes the Isle of Skye as an area of major importance for research into the mid-Jurassic period…

    "This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm certain Skye will keep yielding great sites and specimens for years to come."

    What the discovery does show is that one of the world's largest ever creatures to live on land also spent lots of time in coastal areas and in shallow water on what is now known as the Isle of Skye. However, it's very unlikely the sauropods actually did a bit of disco dancing.

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    Tags:
    Earth, paleontology, dinosaurs, reptiles, archaeology, discovery, science, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain, Europe, United Kingdom, Scotland
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