Stunning dinosaur discovery: 170-million-year-old footprint found in Scotland

An extremely rare 170-million-year-old dinosaur footprint has been found in Scotland. Paleontologists, however, are keeping its precise location secret until they can complete their research.

The footprint was discovered earlier this year by Dr. Neil Clark, curator of palaeontology at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum. Clark told Fox News that he had just given a talk in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands and decided to “visit the Jurassic rocks” in the area.

“After about a half hour looking, I spotted the footprint and was able to immediately recognize it as the footprint of a sauropod dinosaur,” he told Fox News. “I had to do a double take on the footprint as I couldn’t believe that such an obvious footprint had not been seen previously, considering the number of researchers who visit the coast each year.”


Sauropods were huge dinosaurs with long necks and long tails. The footprint is about 30 inches by 20 inches.

An image of the dinosaur footprint taken by Dr. Neil Clark - for scale, the yellow GPS next to the footprint is about 5.5 inches

An image of the dinosaur footprint taken by Dr. Neil Clark - for scale, the yellow GPS next to the footprint is about 5.5 inches (© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow)

While dozens of dinosaur footprints have been found on the Isle of Skye, the footprint spotted by Clark is the first to be found on the Scottish mainland. “Previously all the dinosaurs that have been found in Scotland have been found in the west of the country and belong to a different geographical area called the Hebrides Basin,” Clark explained. “The new discovery adds dinosaurs to another geographical area called the Moray Basin.”

Dating back to the Middle Jurassic period about 170 million years ago, Clark described the footprint as extremely rare. Palaeontologists, he said, will use the footprint to gain insight into distribution of dinosaurs.

The precise location of the footprint is being kept secret while Clark raises money for his research. “I have been trying to crowdfund the project in order to do some accurate mapping of the area by drone to pinpoint the dinosaur footprints,” he told Fox News. “The research will be commenced once we are able to crowdfund enough to cover the costs.”


Apatosaurus, a type of sauropod (iStock)

Apatosaurus, a type of sauropod (iStock) (Warpaintcobra)

The discovery of the dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye was announced earlier this year.

On the other side of the Atlantic, an incredible dinosaur path, which even shows the tracks of a baby dinosaur, has been found at NASA’s Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Last year, vandals wrecked a dinosaur footprint in rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers