set: fossils // series: tracks // picture: DINOSAUR
Fossils tell us a lot about the environment in which the sediments that contain them were formed. Here the sediments clearly were laid down on land, for they contain the mould of a dinosaur footprint. The print was made in soft mud, later infilled with sand, which has hardened. The mud has since washed away, leaving a mould of the print preserved in high relief in sandstone.
This three toed print (215 mm long) is of a bipedal, upright-standing dinosaur, possibly a carnivore, which roamed the alluvial plains of Yorkshire 155 million years ago. Fossil trackways can tell us about the style and speed of movement of ancient animals and are studied in terrestrial palaeoecology classes at Royal Holloway.