Thanks to a four-year-old girl exploring a beach in her native Wales, scientists have an amazingly-preserved dinosaur foot imprint that dates back 215 million years.
The discovery happened in Bendricks Bay near Barry, a town in South Wales, when 4-year-old Lily Wilder was walking with her father, Richard. She there came upon the footprint, about four inches long, make by what the Daily Mail characterized as “a two-footed dinosaur currently unknown to science.”
Based on the footprint, though, it’s thought to have stood about 30 inches tall and stretched out to more than eight feet long.
“When Richard came home and showed me the photograph I thought it looked amazing,” said Lily’s mom, Sally, as reported by Good News Network. “Richard thought it was too good to be true. I was put in touch with experts who took it from there.”
She told the Daily Mail, “‘I was imagining an artist had gone down and scratched it out, but I knew dinosaur footprints had been found along that piece of coast before, so I just thought I’d ask some people.”
“We were thrilled to find out it really was a dinosaur footprint and I am happy that it will be taken to the national museum where it can be enjoyed and studied for generations,” she added.
Karl-James Langford of Archaeology Cymru, where the footprint was taken, hailed the find as “the finest impression of a 215-million-year-old dinosaur print found in Britain in a decade.”
“Its spectacular preservation may help scientists establish more about the actual structure of their feet as the preservation is clear enough to show individual pads and even claw impressions,” an Amgueddfa Cymru spokesperson added.
“Its acquisition by the museum is mainly thanks to Lily and her family who first spotted it,” Amgueddfa Cymru Paleontology Curator Cindy Howells added.