220 million-year-old dinosaur footprint discovered by 4-year-old in Wales

A discovery made by four-year-old Lily Wilden has gained the attention of paleontologists around the world. Why? It has been confirmed by experts that Lily discovered a fossilized dinosaur footprint believed to be 220 million years old.

Lily and her father were walking along Barry Beach in Wales, when the four-year-old excitedly pointed out a 4-inch reptilian-looking imprint on one of the coastal rocks. When Lily returned home with pictures of the mysterious imprint, her grandmother suggested that they reach out to local experts about her finding. They soon learned that Lily had discovered a 220-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur footprint, which had been preserved in mud. Cindy Howells, the paleontology curator at the National Museum of Wales, told BBC that the extraordinarily detailed imprint was “the best specimen ever found on this beach.”

According to NBC, the preserved footprint has been safely extracted and will soon be moved to the National Museum of Cardiff, where Lily’s name will be displayed as the “finder” of the artifact. Lily’s mother, Sally, said “We’re going to keep encouraging exploring outside…It’s great as it gets them really interested and the whole family can learn together.”

Barry Beach is located in Bendricks Bay and is an important site for paleontologists and special scientific research. Lily’s discovery has helped give scientists new insight into the muscles and joints of the prehistoric creature, which scientists estimate to have been about 30 inches tall and 8.2 feet long, according to Livescience. Similar footprints have only been found in the United States. In a statement from the National Museum of Wales, this remarkable discovery and impeccable preservation “may help scientists establish more about the actual structure of their feet as the preservation is clear enough to show the individual pads and even claw impressions.”