Researchers think a predator taking a break 166 million years ago may have left a record-breaking dinosaur print on the coast of Yorkshire.
The "amazing" meter-long fossil was found in Burniston Bay, close to Scarborough, and was the biggest ever found there, according to scientists.
The team that examined the track after it was discovered in 2021 came to the conclusion that a Megalosaurus-like giant carnivore made it.
The town's Rotunda Museum will now host its display.
The footprint is the largest theropod—a group of bipedal dinosaurs that included Tyrannosaurus Rex—leave behind that has been discovered in Yorkshire to date.
The "wonderful" find, according to University of Manchester palaeontologist Dr. Dean Lomax, has provided new insight into the behavior of the giant carnivorous creatures that once roamed the coast of the area.
The features of the footprint may even indicate that the large predator squatted before standing up, the expert continued. It's amusing to imagine that this dinosaur may have been taking a leisurely Sunday afternoon stroll along a muddy coastal plain in the Jurassic. " .
In April 2021, local archaeologist Marie Wood was collecting shellfish on the sand when she came across the print. She expressed her inability to believe what she was seeing.
"I had to take a second look. While out with friends, I have seen a few smaller prints, but nothing like this," she continued.
Later, it was discovered that Rob Taylor, a local fossil collector, had also discovered the print five months earlier, when the track was not yet completely exposed.
After scientists issued a warning that the fragile print was in danger of being lost due to erosion or landslips, a group of fossil hunters saved it from the shoreline.
Since then, it has been donated by Ms. Wood and Mr. Taylor to Scarborough Museum and Galleries, which also has other dinosaur fossils on display at the Rotunda.
Plans are underway for the specimen to go on public display so that it can inspire the next generation of fossil hunters now that it has been thoroughly studied, according to Dr. Lomax.
On Thursday, research results were released in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society journal.