A RARE dinosaur footprint found by chance on a beach belongs to a 130million-year-old beast, say scientists.
The imprint was discovered on the Isle of Wight after the turbulent weather of Storm Ciara revealed its location.
Local fossil hunting group, Wight Coast Fossils, announced the discovery.
The fossilised imprint is believed to belong to one of a group of carnivorous dinosaurs known as therapods.
That means it is a trace of “vanished worlds” and is estimated to be at least 130million years old.
Found on Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight, experts believe that the recent stormy weather blew away sand which had covered the unusual find for millennia.
Group member Theo Vickers, said: “All this weather is revealing traces of vanished worlds along our coastline.
“This is a really fascinating example of how events like Storm Ciara continue to expose traces of ancient environments around our geologically unique coastline, often in plain sight such as this footprint.”
He added: “Sandown Bay has revealed this beautiful 130million-year-old dinosaur track yesterday, preserved in the brightly coloured clay.”
Mr Vickers said that the pointed toes of the fossil indicate a large dinosaur known as a theropod and believes it could be either a ‘Neovenator’ or a ‘Spinosaurus Baryonyx’.
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He added: “It will typically disappear in a couple of days or weeks, as the tide wears down the soft clays of the formation.
“[It’s] an awesome but fleeting glimpse of a time long gone – lying in plain sight on our coastline.”
The discovery comes just a fortnight after the fossilised remains of a dinosaur tail was revealed in cliffs further along the Isle of Wight coastline.