Scientists have discovered hundreds of fossil tracks along the coast of Scotland, which indicate that massive, long-necked dinosaurs used to roam around the region. The footprints spotted by scientists from the biggest dinosaur site to have ever been discovered in Scotland. Those footprints have also shown that the sauropods, a species that included the biggest dinos ever, were at home across the shore.
Since a long time, scientists have been debating about the kind of relationship the giant dinosaurs share with water. For the most part of the 20th century, paleontologists used to think that the sauropods needed to wallow amid swamps, where their massive body weight used to be supported perfectly by the water. However, some findings thrown up by studies conducted during the Dinosaur Renaissance of the 70s and 80s forced the paleontologists to think differently.
Those findings revealed that sauropods were surprisingly light in spite of having such huge bodies, which meant that they were more likely to float on a water body than sink their feet in it. According to a new view on sauropods, the creatures used to roam around forests instead of steaming marshes.
The newly spotted footprints on Scotland’s Isle of Skye make up parts of a rising picture that suggests that some sauropods also roamed around the ancient coasts and boundaries of lagoons. The region’s geology served as an unequivocal evidence of the fact that dinos used to walk around this brackish lagoon.
Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh, who is a paleontologist by profession, said that he and his team were exploring a lonely part of a coast on the island’s far northeastern edge. The team was scouting the region after some bones were spotted there by a geologist.
Brusatte and colleagues spent almost a day finding some small fossils and shark teeth before discovering these footprints. According to his narration, he and Tom Challands, another member of the team and a fossil fish expert, saw a pothole like structure in the region, which later turned out to be a dinosaur footprint.
That was just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, the team came across a string of tracks covering an area measuring 49 ft by 82 ft (15 m by 25 m). The researchers also found that the footprints are more than 161 million years old, which means they belong to dinos of the Middle Jurassic era.