Welsh girl, 4, discovers perfect 215million-year-old dinosaur footprint on beach
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A tot from Wales has stunned palaeontologists after she stumbled across a dinosaur footprint estimated to be 215 million years old.
Little Lily Wilder, four, from Llandough, was on a coastal walk to the supermarket with her dad, Richard, when she spotted the 10cm-long print, reports WalesOnline.
It's thought the impression was made by a bipedal dinosaur that stood at about 75cm tall and 2.5m long. The type of print is called a Gallator, but it's impossible to know exactly which type of prehistoric creature made it.
Experts reckon the animal would have walked on its two hind feet and hunted smaller animals and insects.
When dinosaur-mad Lily discovered the print, Richard and mum Sally thought it might be a piece of art, and searched for answers on Facebook.
She told Wales Online: “We weren’t even sure it was real. I was imagining an artist had gone down and scratched it out, but I knew dinosaur footprints had been found along that piece of coast before so I just thought I’d ask some people.
“I found this fossil identification page on Facebook and I posted it on there and people went a bit crazy.
“It’s all been so exciting, discovering that it’s actually what they thought it was.”
Since making her groundbreaking discovery on the coastline between Barry and Sully, Lily's interest in dinosaurs has peaked.
Sally said: “Recently we bought her some dinosaur toys so she’s been playing obsessively with dinosaurs all week.”
Cindy Howells, curator at the National Museum of Wales Palaeontology, said: "This fossilised dinosaur footprint from 220 million years ago is one of the best-preserved examples from anywhere in the UK and will really aid palaeontologists to get a better idea about how these early dinosaurs walked.
"Its acquisition by the museum is mainly thanks to Lily and her family who first spotted it."
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The museum has asked for special permission from National Resources Wales to remove the print and display it.
Sally and Richard now hope Lily's name will be recorded as the finder of the print, so she can take her kids and grandkids to see it at the museum one day.
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