A four-year-old girl in Wales found a dinosaur footprint while on a trip to the supermarket with her father.
Experts from Archaeology Cymru are calling it “the finest impression of a 215 million-year-old dinosaur print found in Britain in a decade”.
Lily Wilder was walking with her father, Richard, along the coast between Barry and Sully when she spotted the small footprint.
“We weren’t even sure it was real. 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,” Lily’s mother, Sally, told WalesOnline.
“I found this fossil identification page on Facebook and I posted it on there and people went a bit crazy. It’s all been so exciting, discovering that it’s actually what they thought it was.”
The footprint is just over 10cm long.
Experts call this type of print a Grallator, which covers a common type of small, three-toed print made by a variety of bipedal theropod dinosaurs.
The print is now in the National Museum Cardiff.
“It’s so perfect and absolutely pristine, it’s a wonderful piece.” said Karl-James Langford from Archeology Cyrmu.
“I would say it’s internationally important and that is why the museum took it straight away. This is how important it is. I would say it’s the best dinosaur footprint found in the UK in the past 10 years.”
National Museum of Wales Palaeontology curator Cindy Howells described it as the best specimen ever found on this beach.
“This fossilized dinosaur footprint from 220 million years ago is one of the best-preserved examples from anywhere in the UK and will really aid palaeontologists to get a better idea about how these early dinosaurs walked. Its acquisition by the museum is mainly thanks to Lily and her family who first spotted it,” Howells said.