By Luthien Evans | News Editor
The newest Welsh archaeologist has been discovered. A single dinosaur footprint has been located on a lockdown walk in Barry, near Bendrick’s Bay- there was no sign of the accompanying footprint. The amazingly preserved footprint was discovered by 4-year old Lily Wilder. The discovery was shoulder height for the young girl, which she pointed out to her father, who was accompanying her on the walk. The father took pictures to share with his family, who encouraged him to share with local experts for examination.
The print has been predicted to have been preserved for 220 million years. The footprint length stands at 10 centimetres, however it has not been identified as to which type of dinosaur was the culprit. Cindy Howells, palaeontology curator for the National Museum of Wales, discussed with NBC News, that deductions for dinosaur type can be determined. She commented on the likelihood that the dinosaur ‘stood at 75 centimetres tall and 2.5 meters long’, she also added that it would have been a dinosaur that ‘walked on its two hind legs and actively hunted other small animals and insects’.
The impressive find has been approved to be removed and will be preserved in the National Museum Cardiff for future education. The site is currently being protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. However, this has not stopped attempts from many people trying to remove rocks of their own or damage those already there. It has been warned that people doing so without permission may obtain a fine of up to £20,000 for these illegal acts. Precautions were put in place to avoid a media or fossil-enthusiast storm of the area- this was by allowing media stories to run only after the fossil had been removed.
Barry’s Bendrick’s Bay has been notorious for dinosaur footprint findings. Bendrick Rock boasts footprints of different sizes and kinds- large and small, plant-eating and meat-eating. Some of the prints found are a staggering 7-8 meters long. Many track ways can also be found at the site. The fines, therefore, hold ground as previous illegal removals of such have occurred. In 2005, slabs of rock with dinosaur footprints were taken and appeared for sale online. In context, this makes the fines justified.