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Four-year-old Girl Discovers 220 Million-year-old Dinosaur Footprint at a Beach in Wales

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Four-year-old Lily Wilder was walking along the beach with her father when she discovered something unusual.

What We Know:

  • In January of this year, Lily Wilder was enjoying a day out with her family at Bendricks Bay Beach in South Wales, U.K. As she walked the beach with her father and the family dog, her mother Sally Wildeshe, 41, remembers overhearing the encounter. Lily was walking alongside the rocks on the beach and said, “look, Daddy,” after spotting what appeared to be a dinosaur print etched into stone, the mother told NBC News.
  • Richard Wilder, Lily’s father, promptly took photos of the stone and later shared them with the family. After seeing the photos, Lily’s grandmother encouraged the family to reach out to local experts and fossil enthusiasts for further investigation.
  • Paleontologists confirmed that this 220 million-year-old dinosaur print is the real deal. Cindy Howells, a paleontology curator for the Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum of Wales, believes that the footprint was made by a dinosaur that was about 29.5 inches tall and 8 feet long.
  • According to Howells, the slender animal would have walked on its two hind feet to hunt its prey. The specimen found on the beach is known as a “grallator”. Despite this, scientists are not able to identify which specific type of dinosaur made this print. This fossil could help them learn more about how dinosaurs walked.
  • In the future, the family hopes to make more discoveries together. Lily’s mom says she wants to encourage other parents to safely take their children for walks in nature during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to keep encouraging exploring outside,” Sally said. “It’s great as it gets them really interested and the whole family can learn together.”

Since the discovery, the stone has been cut out and will be kept at the National Museum in Cardiff for future generations to enjoy.

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