Proofs from ancient history yet again surfaced indicating the presence of the last dinosaurs to walk on the land of the UK. Recently, footprints of as many as six different species of dinosaurs were discovered in the Kent region of the United Kingdom. It is believed that these are the footprints of the very last dinosaurs to walk on the UK soil around 110 million years ago. A report by The Indian Express noted that these footprints were found on the foreshore and on the cliffs of the port town, Folkestone in Kent. Stormy conditions over the region have been helping constantly revealing new fossils.
The discovery has also been published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association whereas some footprints that were found have been kept on display at Folkestone Museum. According to Professor of Palaeobiology David Martill, this is the first time the dinosaur footprints have been found in the area. He added that the discovery is extraordinary as these would be the last dinosaurs who must have walked in the country before they went extinct.
The footprints are believed to be of various species of dinosaurs, and this indicates that southern England at the end of the Early Cretaceous period had a high diversity of dinosaurs. Philip Hadland, Collections and Engagement Curator at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, said that in 2011, some unusual impressions were spotted by him within the rock formation at Folkestone. “They seemed to be repeating and all I could think was they might be footprints,” the report quotes Hadland as saying.
For Hadland, it was difficult pursuing other geologists to believe him since others were at odds regarding the rocks there. However, Hadland went ahead to look for more footprints, which were later revealed due to erosion. Due to this, more work was needed to be done to prove its validity to the scientific community. Therefore, Hadland teamed up with experts at the University of Portsmouth.
The footprints found are to be believed of the ankylosaurs– rugged-looking armoured dinosaurs that looked like living tanks; theropods, which are three-toed flesh-eating dinosaurs similar to Tyrannosaurus rex; and ornithopods, which have been classified as plant-eating ‘bird-hipped dinosaurs.
The report highlighted the largest footprint found to be 80 cm in width and 65 cm in length. The researchers identified it as one of Iguanodon-like dinosaurs. Iguanodons were plant-eaters and they grew up to 10 metres long. They were capable of walking on both two legs or on all fours.