A woman collecting shellfish was astonished to discover the largest dinosaur footprint ever found on the Yorkshire coast—likely belonging to a ‘Jurassic giant’ megalosaurus.
29-year-old Marie Woods was foraging for her dinner on Saturday when she stumbled upon an enormous footprint, believed to be around 165 million years old.
Experts have now documented the find, and say it’s the most significant discovery in the area since 2006.
Marie, who’s an archaeologist, said: “All I wanted to do was grab some shellfish for my dinner and I ended up stumbling across this. I showed some palaeontologist friends what I had found and none of them had seen it. It’s really exciting.”
University of Manchester palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax believes the print was probably left by a ‘megalosaurus’. Such an animal would have had hips over two meters high and a body length of up to nine meters. “In short,” he said, “This is the largest theropod footprint ever found in Yorkshire, made by a large meat-eating dinosaur.”
“We know this because the shape and three-toed track, along with the impression of the claws, are absolutely spot-on for having been made by a large theropod… a real Jurassic giant.”
After Marie contacted local experts, it was found that the fossil had actually been photographed by local Rob Taylor last year. The image had even been posted to Facebook. However, its significance was not recognized until now.
Marie and Rob both have finders’ rights to the footprint, and it’s hoped it will now go on public display at the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough.