A dinosaur footprint has been discovered by a four-year-old girl on a beach near Barry in South Wales.
Lily Wilder made the discovery earlier this month, while on a walk with her father Richard.
The footprint, which is 220 million years old, has been described as the “best specimen ever found” at Bendricks Bay — a beach well known for its dinosaur footprints.
Lily’s mother Sally Wilder said, “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 and I am happy that it will be taken to the national museum where it can be enjoyed and studied for generations.”
It is impossible to tell which dinosaur made the print, but as it is 10cm long it is believed to be from a type that stood 75cm tall and 2.5m long. It would have been slender and walked on two hind feet, hunting small animals and insects.
Permission had to be sought from Natural Resources Wales to legally remove the fossil from the beach, which is a site of Special Scientific Interest.
It was removed earlier this week and will now be studied by experts at the National Museum in Cardiff.
Cindy Howells, palaeontology curator from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said the print will give scientists a better idea about early dinosaurs walked.
She said: “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.”