A giant dinosaur footprint discovered on the Yorkshire coastline is the largest ever found in the region.
At almost a metre long, the footprint was left by a meat-eating theropod from the Jurassic period.
The huge creature was likely crouching down or resting around 166 million years ago when it left the marking, according to a study by the University of Manchester.
The record-breaking find was made in April 2021 by local archaeologist Marie Woods.
Ms Woods, now a co-author of the study, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, I had to do a double take.
“I have seen a few smaller prints when out with friends, but nothing like this. I can no longer say that ‘archaeologists don’t do dinosaurs’.”
Following the discovery at Burniston Bay, a stretch of coast popular with professional palaeontologists, Ms Woods got in touch with other experts to help with the footprint’s recovery.
It became clear it had actually been spotted five months earlier, by Rob Taylor, a local fossil hunter and co-author of the new study – published in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society.
But the print was not fully exposed at the time, so its importance had not been fully realised.
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The footprint was described as “a wonderful find” by Dr Dean Lomax, another of the co-authors.
“Features of the footprint may even suggest that this large predator was squatting down before standing up,” he said.
Ms Woods and Mr Taylor donated the specimen to Scarborough Museum and Galleries.
Lead researcher and local geologist John Hudson said: “This important discovery adds further evidence that meat-eating giants once roamed this area during the Jurassic.
“The type of footprint, combined with its age, suggests that it was made by a ferocious Megalosaurus-like dinosaur, with a possible hip height between two and a half and three metres.”
The footprint is due to go on display at the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough after conservation work has been completed.