Scientists just made a "globally important" dinosaur footprint discovery in Scotland’s Isle of Skye.
As BBC News reported, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the Staffin Museum and the Chinese Academy of Sciences found dozens of giant dinosaur footprints from the Middle Jurassic Period on the Isle of Skye.
The researchers called the discovery “globally important” since there have been few dinosaur fossils or footprints from that period, which happened nearly 170 million years ago, according to Edinburgh University's press release.
The researchers found the footprints in what was once an ancient shallow lagoon.
According to Mashable, scientists couldn’t determine the specific species of dinosaur. However, the team believed that they belonged to sauropods, who were long-necked herbivores like the Brontosaurus, and theropods, who were the early ancestors of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
A student first discovered the footprints in 2016, which inspired the research, Mashable reported.
The researchers published their findings in the Scottish Journal of Geology. The research team used drones to map out the island. The team also used cameras and software to model the prints for their computers, Reuters reported.
Paige dePolo, lead author of the study, wrote, “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."
Meanwhile, Steve Brusatte, who works at the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said the team continues to find major footprints on the island.5 comments on this story
"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,” he said, according to BBC.
Back in January, scientists announced a discovery of a new dinosaur in Egypt, which raised questions about the missing history of dinosaurs in Africa, according to the Deseret News. Before the discovery, researchers had rarely found dinosaur fossils in Africa.
About a week later, NASA uncovered a set of fossils outside the Goddard Space Flight Center, which was hailed as a significant finding because it revealed dinosaurs lived in the Maryland area millions of years ago.