A team of workers at Perbeck quarry in Swanage on Britain’s Jurassic Coast found nearly 30 footprints from a herd of gigantic Sauropads. They are believed to be around 140 million years old. The site had earlier identified a 52 dino prints back in 1997.
Sauropods – the first successful group of herbivorous – could live as long as 120 years. Fully grown Sauropods could measure as long as 40 metres (130 feet) and weigh up to 80,000kg (80 tonnes). They were the largest creatures ever to walk to the Earth.
And when a herd of the mighty beasts ambled along Britain’s coast, they would have left their footprints in the soft mud which was then covered by layers of rock for millions of years.
Professor Matthew Bennett from Bournemouth University, who guided the extraction in Purbeck stone quarry, said: ‘The footprints are like giant saucer-shaped depressions which are up to three-foot in diameter but only half an inch deep.
‘They belonged to the Sauropods which were very large dinosaurs the size of double-decker buses and very gregarious, travelling in groups.’
He said that now the extraction of the footprints has been completed without damaging them, they will likely be put on display at a museum.
‘I’ve spent my life travelling the world to look for fossil footprints so it is nice to find some on our doorstep,’ he said.
The quarry was closed for 10 days to facilitate the excavation. David Moodie, from Lewis Quarries, said: ‘It became apparent that we had come across something of historical interest, so working closely with the National Trust and Professor Matthew Bennett of Bournemouth University, we were able to move forward in the best way without stopping progress in the quarry itself.’