In a remarkable archaeological revelation, a footprint believed to have been left by a dinosaur around 140 million years ago has been identified at Brownsea Island, nestled in the scenic Poole Harbour, Dorset.
The National Trust ranger, Sophie Giles, stumbled upon this fossilized treasure during a run in the grounds of Brownsea Castle, sparking excitement and intrigue among palaeontologists and enthusiasts alike.
The well-preserved footprint is thought to belong to a three-toed Iguanodon, a dinosaur species that roamed the Earth during the Mesozoic Era.
Dr. Martin Munt, curator of the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown, Isle of Wight, commented on the discovery, noting that the hind footprint is comparable to those found in the Isle of Purbeck, hinting at a possible origin for the rock.
Sharing the news on social media, the National Trust expressed their excitement over the find, stating, “We believe that the rock may have come from the Isle of Purbeck, where you can already see many dinosaur footprints at Langton Matravers.”
The organization is actively seeking further research to unveil more details about the identity and history of this ancient relic.
Dr. Munt elaborated on the significance of the find, identifying it as a tridactyl footprint, characteristic of dinosaurs from the era, possibly an iguanodontian or a closely related species.
The geographical connection to the Isle of Purbeck, known for its rich fossil deposits, adds weight to the authenticity of this remarkable discovery.
Brownsea Island, forming part of the Purbeck National Nature Reserve, has temporarily closed its doors to day visitors for the winter, enhancing the urgency and anticipation surrounding this historical find.
The island’s closure allows researchers and palaeontologists to delve into further investigations, ensuring a meticulous examination of the site.
This discovery comes on the heels of a similar revelation on the Isle of Wight, where a set of well-preserved dinosaur footprints was recently uncovered on a beach at Yaverland.
The prints, discovered during a survey of sea defence plans, showcase the ongoing fascination and importance of the British Isles in unravelling the mysteries of Earth’s ancient inhabitants.