A four-year-old girl made a historical discovery when she found a dinosaur footprint that's more than 220 million years old on a rock on a Welsh Beach.
On a walk with her dad, Richard, at a beach near Barry in South Wales, Lily Wilder made the rare find.
Dinosaurs first appeared around 230 million years ago. This footprint represents a significant early point in their evolution when the different groups of dinosaurs were first diversifying.
Lily's mother, Sally Wilder, said that "Lily saw it when they were walking along and said 'Daddy look'. When Richard came home and showed me the photograph I thought it looked amazing. Richard thought it was too good to be true.
"I was put in touch with experts who took it from there. We were thrilled to find out it really was a dinosaur footprint. I am happy that it will be taken to the national museum where it can be enjoyed and studied for generations."
The Bendricks Bay beach in Wales is well known for its prehistoric footprints, and this one has been described as the "best specimen ever found" there. The print is 10cm long and believed to be from a dinosaur which stood 75cm tall and 2.5m long.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell which creature it may have come from. It is believed that the dinosaur might have been slender and walked on two hind feet.
After permission had been sought from Natural Resources Wales to legally remove the fossil from the beach, it will be studied by experts at the National Museum in Cardiff.
Cindy Howells, a palaeontology curator from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said the print will give scientists a better idea about how early dinosaurs walked.
"Its acquisition by the museum is mainly thanks to Lily and her family who first spotted it. During the Covid pandemic, scientists from Amgueddfa Cymru have been highlighting the importance of nature on people's doorstep, and this is a perfect example of this. Obviously, we don't all have dinosaur footprints on our doorstep, but there is a wealth of nature local to you if you take the time to really look close enough."
The preservation of this footprint is clear enough to show individual pads and claw impressions. This may help scientists establish more about the structure of their feet.