4-Year-Old Finds Well-Preserved Dinosaur Footprint On Beach

Katie Ramirez
February 4, 2021

Cindy Howells, a paleontology curator with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales, explained to NBC News, they could learn some information from the size and look of the footprint, but that is was nearly impossible to identify the type of dinosaur that left the "grallator" - a small, three-toed print made by a variety of bipedal dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs first appeared on the Earth about 230 million years ago, which means this footprint "represents a very important early point in their evolution, when the different groups of dinosaurs were first diversifying", the museum said.

"It would have been a slender animal with a tail, approximately 29.5 inches tall and 8-feet long, that walked on its two hind feet and actively hunted other small animals and insects."

Lily Wilder found the well-preserved footprint earlier this month at Bendricks Bay, and scientists say it could help them understand how dinosaurs walked.

The family says their daughter's interest in dinosaurs has been ignited since the discovery and that she's been playing with a collection of dino toys and models. A museum then asked the family to remove social media posts about the footprint, so not as to tip off anyone who might be interested in taking it.

The museum's added that numerous footprints have been identified in Bendricks Bay in the past but most are unlikely to be "from dinosaurs, but rather from some of the more crocodilian-type reptiles that also inhabited the area".

"It's brilliant. It really is stunning preservation. You can see every detail of the muscles and where the joints are in the foot".

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The trace fossil, believed to be around 220 million years old, will be taken to National Museum Wales, in Cardiff, on a temporary or permanent basis.

Howells said that unfortunately, there are no fossilized bones to match the newly found footprint.

Lily Wilder, aged 4, was walking with her father and per dog along a beach in south Wales, when she saw something unusual.

Lily's family said she was the first to spot the footprint on a loose block on the beach which is well-known for its dinosaur footprints.

"Obviously, we don't all have dinosaur footprints on our doorstep but there is a wealth of nature local to you if you take the time to really look close enough", she says.

"What's fantastic is, if her name goes down as the finder in the museum, it could be her grandchildren going to visit that in the museum one day, and for years and years and generations to come, which is quite wonderful", mother Sally told Wales Online.

"We're going to keep encouraging exploring outside", Sally said.

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