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Scotland's Dinosaur 'Disco': Hundreds of Preserved Footprints Found

Image: Scotland's Dinosaur 'Disco': Hundreds of Preserved Footprints Found
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By    |   Friday, 04 Dec 2015 12:14 PM

Scotland may have been home to what researchers call a "dinosaur disco" after a series of footprints made by plant-eating sauropods some 170 million years ago was discovered on the Isle of Skye recently.

The dinosaur site found by researchers is believed to be the largest ever uncovered in Scotland, identified by tracks in layers of rocks, the University of Edinburgh said in a statement. The tracks were made in what would have been the bottom of a shallow, salt water lagoon.

"The new tracksite from Skye is one of the most remarkable dinosaur discoveries ever made in Scotland," study leader Dr. Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said in a statement. "There are so many tracks crossing each other that it looks like a dinosaur disco preserved in stone. By following the tracks you can walk with these dinosaurs as they waded through a lagoon 170 million years ago, when Scotland was so much warmer than today."

Details about the dinosaur track "disco" discovery were published in the science publication Scottish Journal of Geology.

The abstract of the published study said that it appears from the dinosaur tracks that the creatures lived in Scotland for generations.

"[The Scottish Journal of Geology study] provides additional evidence that basal sauropods persisted deep into the Middle Jurassic, a time when the earliest members of larger and more derived sauropod lineages were radiating," the abstract reads.

"The new Skye tracks document multiple generations of sauropods living within the lagoonal environments of Jurassic Scotland, and along with other tracks found over the past two decades, suggest that sauropods may have frequented such environments, contrary to their image as land-bound behemoths," it continues.

According to the University of Edinburgh statement, before the discovery of the "disco" field, the only evidence that sauropods lived in Scotland came from a small number of bone and teeth fragments.

"This find clearly establishes the Isle of Skye as an area of major importance for research into the Mid-Jurassic period," Tom Challands, of the University of Edinburgh, said. "It is exhilarating to make such a discovery and being able to study it in detail, but the best thing is this is only the tip of the iceberg. I'm certain Skye will keep yielding great sites and specimens for years to come."

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Scotland may have been home to what researchers call a "dinosaur disco" after a series of footprints made by plant-eating sauropods some 170 million years ago was discovered on the Isle of Skye recently.
scotland, dinosaur, disco, footprints, discovered
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2015-14-04
Friday, 04 Dec 2015 12:14 PM
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