SCIENCE
05/03/2016 08:38 am ET Updated Dec 20, 2016

Hiker Happens Upon Prehistoric Footprint Of 230-Million-Year-Old Reptile

The fossil features details of the dinosaur-like creature’s claw and skin.
AP/AP

It’s a trek that they’ll never forget.

A hiker walking in hills near Barcelona, northeastern Spain, stumbled upon a fossilized footprint believed to belong to a reptile-like ancestor of the dinosaurs. The extinct creature, called Isochirotherium, roamed the Earth during the Middle Triassic period some 230 million years ago.

It’s the “best preserved print ever found in the Iberian Peninsula,” reports the Spanish news agency EFE.

Catalonia’s autonomous regional government confirmed the find on Monday. It was discovered near Olesa de Montserrat, 25 miles north of Barcelona, on Apr. 22.

Olesa de Montserrat town council made a plaster cast of the print, according to the local newspaper La Vanguardia. The regional Department of Culture’s archaeology and paleontology service is examining the fossilized print.

Eudald Mujal, a paleontologist at Barcelona’s Autonomous University, said it was “exceptionally well preserved” and even “retains details of claw and skin.”

He told The Local that the now Isochirotherium was part of the archosaur group of animals. They were “similar to crocodiles, of quadrupedal gait, but with longer limbs,” and a more erect posture Mujal, said. 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS