Rock is proof of dinos of many shapes and sizes

Dr Steve Sweetman
Dr Steve Sweetman

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DINOSAUR expert Dr Steve Sweetman from the University of Portsmouth has discovered a boulder with three different footprints proving evidence of life on a riverbank 130 million years ago.

The 50kg rock from Brook Bay on the Isle of Wight contains the print of an adult iguanodon, a tiny bird-like carnivorous dinosaur known as a theropod and a ‘baby’ iguanodon-like dinosaur.

Dr Sweetman said: ‘What we have found here is a remarkable fossil that provides tantalising evidence of the existence of animals for which we either have no bones or the merest scraps of bones. The rock shows us that a large iguanodon was wandering about in a muddy environment leaving deep footprints as it walked.

‘That it was part of a group or a herd is without doubt because there are many other similar footprints found on rocks scattered on the beach.’

He added: ‘What this truly remarkable specimen shows is that a tiny theropod has stepped into the iguanodon print, and then at almost the same time a little iguanodon-like animal has stepped into the same hole!

‘This tells us that Brook Bay was a truly busy place teeming with life and in the shadow of the large dinosaurs, tiny ones of all shapes and sizes were thriving.’