The Historical Footprints of the Island of Skye, Scotland

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Our time line is divided into three parts – past, present and future. The past is something we left far behind, the present is the time we live in and the future is the time of the unknown and unseen. Although the past is long gone and have become a part of the history, it has its own way of coming back and surprising us with its unexplored treasure of mysteries and that is what never let’s its charm die and keeps us engaged and interested.

Important historical discoveries are made every second day which makes us wonder about the days, times and ages gone by. A study conducted in collaboration by the University of Edinburgh, Staffin Museum and Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed one such discovery made in the Island of Skye, Scotland which was published in the Scottish Journal of Geology, records one such discovery. The study records the discovery of about 50 footprints of dinosaurs in a muddy, shallow lagoon in the north – east coast of Skye, which are claimed to belong to the Middle Jurassic Period,  about 170 million years ago. This discovery is very important as not many fossils or other historical remains of this has been found till date.

This discovery, the second of its kind in Skye, is important to understand the dinosaur population of a time when dinosaurs are believed to be moving towards global domination. Researchers measured, photographed and analysed about 50 footprints in a tidal area at Brothers’ Point — Rubha nam Brathairean — a dramatic headland on Skye’s Trotternish peninsula. This study and the documentation of the results had not been easy as there were many hindrances. The constant flow of the tide along with the millions of years that have gone by has eroded the fossils and deterioted their conditions along with the change of landscapes. Inspite of the difficulties, researchers succeeded in mapping the site using drone photographs. Additional images were collected using a paired set of cameras and tailored software to help model the prints. The researchers identified two trackways along with many isolated footprints.

This study was led by Paige dePolo and the field team was headed by Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geoscience. “This new site records two different types of dinosaurs – long-necked cousins of Brontosaurus and sharp-toothed cousins of T rex – hanging around a shallow lagoon, back when Scotland was much warmer and dinosaurs were beginning their march to global dominance,” said Brusatte.

This discovery and its results have given us a better insight into the Jurassic world and is sure to exite many dinosaur enthusiasts. It is an exotic discovery for the scientific world too. This also proofs that however much we may be removed from history, it has its own way of connecting to us and getting merged with our times. To separate them both is almost impossible.

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Hi! My name is Gitika and I am a final year Masters degree student of English. I love creative writing and reading novels. I enjoy exploring new places and spending time with my friends and family. I hail from the beautiful state of Assam and my family is my strength.
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