One of the best-preserved dinosaur footprints ever found in the UK has been discovered by a little girl on a Welsh beach

Last month, 4-year-old Lily Wilder was walking along a rocky beach in Wales with her family when an unusual-looking boulder caught her eye. When she and her Dad stopped to take a closer look, they quickly realised it wasn’t just any old rock – it had a fossilised dinosaur footprint on it!

Fossil Footprint Found

Excited by what they might have found, the Wilder family called National Museum Wales to tell them about the discovery. Fossil expert Cindy Howells came to investigate, and confirmed what Lily suspected: it was a prehistoric footprint!

The amazing fossil has been examined by palaeontologists (scientists who study dinosaurs), who estimate that the footprint is around 220 million years old!

It belongs to a group of fossils called Grallator footprints, left by a variety of small dinosaurs, including the American Coelophysis. Lily’s discovery measures just over 10cm long, which means that the dinosaur who left it probably stood between 75cm and 2m tall! That’s about as tall as an emu!

The dinosaur would have been a slender animal, which walked on its two hind feet and actively hunted other small animals and insects.

Lily made her discovery on Bendrick’s Bay near Barry in South Wales. This area is a Site of Scientific Interest, known for its fossil finds!

“This fossilised dinosaur footprint is one of the best-preserved examples from anywhere in the UK“, said Cindy Howells, who works with fossils at National Museum Wales. “It will really help palaeontologists to get a better idea about how early dinosaurs walked.”

Thanks to Lily and her family, this fossil has been extracted and moved to National Museum Cardiff. There, it can be enjoyed by others for generations, and could have a significant impact on scientific research. Amazing work, Lily!

If you live near a rocky beach, make sure you keep your eyes peeled – your discovery could be the next to hit the headlines! Check out Nat Geo Kids’ Quick Guide to Fossil Hunting for tips on what to look for!

Thanks to National Museum Wales and the Wilder family for the images used in this article!

Have you ever found a fossil? Let us know in the comments below!

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COMMENTS

  • MJ

    wow thats amaing!

  • Treesrawesome2510

    I love how this means that you don't have to be an expert at everything to find things and do things that lots of adults can.

  • 7MFMJF

    wowsa i love dinosaurs

  • Wow

  • Emerald-Rose

    wowza

  • a guy

    Coooool

  • a guy

    Oh wow!

  • adele

    well done lily that is quite a discovery

  • The yeeter

    wow that is so cool well done lily

  • wow

  • dada

    i love animals

  • millie

    really cool

  • Mouse

  • Monica

    Wow! That's amazing, I wish I would find something like this.

  • wow

  • Rilla

    that is Amazing and also very cool

  • Hannah

  • JJ

    That's awesome!☺️

  • P

  • Coco

    Can’t believe it’s a fact a four year old girl found a fossil I can’t believe it

  • amzing

  • best boy

    wow

  • Angela martins lima. Age:6

    me and my freind Alice found lots of dinosaur fosils

  • Alice saffi polyak tavares da silva

    I really want to find a fosil

  • cool! what a big find for a little girl

  • aphmau

    wow this is a amazind discovery for the little girl

  • Wow!

  • Cool

  • Activist Olivia

    Wow!

  • Gabby

    I have found a lot of sea snail fossils in my grandparents garden.

  • Gabby

    I found a sea creature fossil last year. My Mum said it was a marsupial.

  • ÓRLA

    Hiya

  • sania

    WOW

  • non

    wow

  • EveNugget

    WOW

  • Charlie

  • June

  • ATS

  • jessicap

    This is amazing! I wish I could be lucky enough to find something like this. maybe next time

  • sebastian

    a four year old?!!! WOW

  • sage

    wow four year olds can do that!Cool As ice!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cool!

  • Yay

  • Hi

  • Mariam

    It’s so cool

  • 28qberky

    cool

  • landen

    wow

  • Wow

  • RoRo

  • Ellie

    So cool

  • Norim

    That was very cool

  • that is epic

  • Coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  • Sunset_sunset

    WOW

  • TANAKORN

    yes

  • EM321671

    wow that's cool

  • Scoob

    Astonishing

  • sdaUgdh

    hi

  • miss missi miss

    nice

  • that is so cool

  • cyndrex

    wow just wow

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  • that is cool

  • santiago

    wow so cool

  • ROBERT

    COOL !

  • Yo. My name is secret.

    I love your website. Jomama

  • Jim

  • Hamish

    pretty cool!

  • Hamish

    COOL!

  • FNAF

    Cool

  • nice

  • hola

    hola

  • Coo coo coconut

    Give it up for Lily . I am so jealous so once again give it up for Lily!!!

  • snowleopard

    Wow

  • megan

  • lucky u i wish i could find one too

  • Evelyn

    one time when we were on Holliday on the isle of white we went fossil hunting, and our mum found a dinosaur rib bone! It was quite small, but it was still an amazing find!

  • Kaia

    No but some day I will!

  • Aisling

    hi

  • COOL !

  • Rosalyn

    This is amazing! I wish I could be lucky enough to find something like this.

  • WOW

  • YAK

    I foud a lot of stones but no one was a fossil

  • Aoibhinn

    my friend brought a rock in to school and it had prehistoric bugs and insect fossils on it

  • sarah

  • Conor

    I found old cart wheels in a field from the late 18 hundreds

  • I've never found a dino footprint but seeing a four year old find one? thats super cool

  • Mila

    so cool!

  • Mila

    Awesome!

  • Forest

    um WOW!

  • I found a shark tooth

  • HYH Kokoro

    Super cool !

  • STR596

    coooooooooooooooool

  • alexa

    great eye lily wilder wow

  • Max

    This is so cool

  • #jackiebaseball25

    Wow lily that is nice that you found a fossil of a dino footprint

  • Rina

    Why is this happening!!

  • RaptorMax

    wow

  • sean-tanigaki

    cool

  • Lilith

    I love this but could u put more of the animal types please

  • filip and jasim

  • The Army Turtle Timy

    Mind blown

  • Aroush

    Amazing work Lily! I am so surprised that a 4 year-old was able to find a fossil! Great Job!

  • Amazing

  • turtle

    Noice

  • H

  • Cool

  • James Charles

    HI SISTERSS!!!

  • haowenwang

    I have found a fossil before

  • Monty

    WOW that's incredible it says its in a beach? How could a 4 year old find such a such a thing?

  • yiqingl8

    hi

  • hailee

    wow that is crazy

  • I can't believe it.

  • Ella

    this is amazing

  • hamiz

    yes

  • quietbunny12345

  • Charlie damelio

    wow

  • idk

    wow

  • AWSEM

  • Christie

    I can't believe it.

  • littl, nas x

    OMG

  • Me

    WOW!!!!!!

  • That is so cooooool!

  • monkeys are the best.

    EPIC!!!

  • xavier

    crazy good

  • WOW! that is A-MA-ZING!

  • Clodagh

    WOW

  • Elizabeth

    never found a fossil.

  • ben banana

    cool

  • Kanishk

    Good job Lily!

  • Kanishk

    Good job lily! Amazing discovery! COOL AND TOTALLY AWESOME!

  • Kanishk

    That is super cool, good job lily! Nice discovery! Nice work! OMG, WOW, AMAZING, AWESOME!

  • Inara Gongora-Tunçer

    WOW!

  • class USA

    Wow that is unbelievable!

  • Evelyn S

    This is my cousin, Lily Wilder, and I’m very proud of her!

  • kk

  • Alex Shen

    I actrally have a question? I thought dinosaurs have gone extinct billions of years ago, but however the footprint is 200 millions old

  • DIONYSIS

    I LIKE DINOSAURS VERY MACHT

  • elsa

  • m

  • Lizard boy

  • TahliaP

    Omg

  • 00ThePunisher00

    Wow what an amzing discovey must be rlly rare to find though right guys??

  • amelia

    so cool

  • carrick

    It is so cool what type of spices is it?

  • Tiger Lover 10

    Wow thats amazing! :)

  • pb and j girl

    LOL

  • That is just so cool!

  • emir

    lol

  • wow cool !!

  • i wish that we could learn about would war 2

  • Cece123

    OH. MY. GOSH. So cool!

  • T

  • good

    Wow!

  • ^. .^

    Whoah!! It's amazing she actually found that! This just proves how much history is buried beneath us, that we are yet to discover! That's why history is one of my fave subjects!!

  • Cool

  • zayd7

    omg

  • Isaac Liang

    Cool!

  • turtle.diamond

    wowwwwwwwwwww

  • Ellie

    Cool :)

  • Ellie

    This it super cool since they were just having a walk on the beach i wish i was that lucky good job Lilly!

  • lol

    cool

  • Good job Lily! Im proud of you.

  • alex

    Nice discovery lily. ^_^

  • bob the builder

    Wow, that is awesome I wish i could do that so I can be famous to just like lilly.

  • yarden gottlieb

    i found a fossilized shark or sting ray egg at the beach

  • Eva

    omg so cool!!!

  • its so interesting can you add more like this

  • Nice work Lily!

  • ^_^

    wow! so cool! owo uwu

  • Annie

    Well done Lilly so cool

  • Rosa

    Awesome

  • in what year did the fossil was found?

  • Dan

    What year was it found? Well done Lily good spotting

  • Dan

    Amazing

  • olivia

    so cool

  • 2021

    Wow good job lily

  • Hi

  • lovelyhuggles

    so cool

  • yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey

  • Vivan Patel

    cool

  • vicky

    in what year did the fossil was found?

  • Ayaat.zerin

    Thats very interesting can u add more like this?

  • maddy

    cool

  • what

    Yes

  • DANIELLEVIMUNOZPEREZ

    Que color Lo encontro una niña de 4 años

  • GeorgieGiraffe

    Well done Lilly! It doesn’t matter what age you are you can follow your dreams!

  • GeorgieGiraffe

    It doesn’t matter what age you are you can discover anything!

  • 55888

    wooowww

  • jonathan

    that is so cool where

  • Albert

    Wowza!!

  • Wow, thats a young age to find a dinosaur fossil

  • Syed Zunair Aakif

    I will Find million million year old fossils

  • KnownRat

    that's so epic

  • Wow dinosaurs are so cool!!!

  • John

    Ooooooh!

  • Jack foster

    Cool fossil

  • ,kjhbnkjhnblkj

    h

  • Bella

  • woow

  • wow

    wooowowowooww cool

  • Tara

    Bow-to-the-wow

  • creative girl

    wow well done lily

  • MysticLover27

    cool

  • Ava

    WOWZA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alex

    Wow

  • Emylia

    Wow, so cool I wonder if I could find one.

  • lunar

    no cooolll

  • Anni

    Did they get money for their amazing find?

  • Leo

    I WANT TO DO IT TO!

  • Super sloth

    amazing

  • Shomamatsuura

    I want to do it too!

  • wird boy

    wird

  • well done

  • I found one on my holiday

  • Roar

  • Jessica t.

    Wow that’s amazing ❤️ It

  • zeke

    reading they are so cool i can bally contan my self

  • coolkid

    what! a 4 year old found a dino footprint

  • Kutekoala001

    Wow!

  • Kutekoala001

    Amazing! That is REALLY good well done Lily!

  • Ninja 10 reply IKR I can’t even manage to find jungkook banana milk and there she is finding dinosaurs

  • #Animal❤️

  • monkey

    awesome... very interesting too

  • #xoxNaturelove❤️Xox#

    That is so cool

  • Andrew

    Awesome! I love dinos!

  • zeller

    How come they get to find that and you and i are siting at home or school whith mask on amagin being 4 and finding a dinasoir foot print

  • zeller

    so cool

  • TKmonkey

    That’s amazing! LOL LOL LOL

  • MiaM

    Yes I found a fossil on an old train line it was of a shell my dad sent a photo of it to the museum of natural history {i keeped the fossil obs}

  • Izzy

    I’ve never found a fossil but, would love to! Great job Lily!!

  • chloe

  • VihanaP

    So Awesome!

  • kaya

    this is so cool i can't believe that a little girl found a dinosaur footprint and she is only 4. WELL DONE!!!

  • Cool

  • erin

    cool find

  • whow this kid is amazing.

  • Amazing

  • Fynn

    Amazing

  • Ellie

    Awsome!

  • Bubbles...1232

    LOL

  • Alicja

    How did a 4 year old do that

  • Hi

  • ItzSlaped

    WOW. she found something amazing!

  • Wow that is sick

  • wow

  • the boss

  • Tristan

    Nope no fossils 4 me

  • Mimmi

    well done great work Lilly

  • Mimmi

    wow lily that is great work

  • BAXTERDOG659

    cool

  • GABBY

  • Irzem

    Wow

  • nancy g

    wow that's amazing!!!!! I've got about 100 fossils and most of them ! found

  • richard

  • Pancack queen

    THAT IA SOOOOOOOOOO COOL

  • bingbong

    Astonishing!

  • orlah

  • abi-may

    who that is amazing so cool well done lily that is amazing

  • Anna

    Wow

  • ,,

  • Donnacha

    I did not know that

  • Donnacha

  • Rowena

    Once I found a fossil but then it randomly disappeared and I was devastated!

  • Lucy

  • Carisa

    Wow

  • hot dog

    so cool

  • hot dog

    wicked

  • hacking gamer

    WHY DOES SHE GET TO SEE IT REALY WELL IVE ONLY found a preserved really tiny winsy bone of a t rex

  • Larry

    wow nice

  • Hermione2009

    Wow that's amazing!

  • wow

    wow

  • Queenosei2020

    amusing

  • Clea

    Hi im clea

  • Mr what's my name

    Cool, I like the fact. What Dino was it? Looks like a preaditor.

  • LaurieBear

    WOW, amazing find!

  • Fleur

    AMAZING!!

  • ninja10

    HOW COME THEY GET TO SEE DINO FOOTPRINTS AND WE ALL CANT GO NOT EVEN YOU OR ME!!SAD TIMES,SAD TIMES!!!!!!!!

  • ninja10

    HOW COME THEY GET TO SEE DINO FOOTPRINTS AND NO YOU OR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Druvi

    Cool

  • Jess

    epic

  • Thats so cool!

  • Bora_Yıldırım

  • lily

    I love dinosaurs!

  • Rad ruf

    Ohhhhhhh

  • Charlotte

    LOL

  • Amazing! I can't believe that this kid is only 4 years old!

  • Connor

    That is so cool.

  • hawk

    awesome

  • KG The Fun

    COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bethany

    I like this website

  • WOW thats lucky for her

  • joe

    wow

  • lucca

    hi joseph

  • lucca

  • barney

    I found some fossils

  • Mr someone

    Great interesting book Loved reading it

  • Hh55331

    Cool

  • Lucky

  • So lucky

  • Wow ,cool

  • Aadya

    OH MY GOD THAT HAS TO BE THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER

  • ADY

    4years old and you found a dino footprint! COOL!!!

  • ADY

    4 years old and you found a dino footprint! Cool!!!

  • WOW!

  • Joseph

    very very lucky

  • lyra

    that would be so cool!!!

  • Cailee

    shes so lucky!!!

  • she has a very good eye

  • Cailee

    Lily's only four and she found a dinosaur footprint wow she's so lucky!!!

  • noah

    this is cool

  • Yarhard6574

    I found a lot of dinosaur fossils lol

  • that is so cool

  • https://www.natgeokids.com/wp-content/themes/natgeokids/images/badges/4.png

  • aldrown27

  • ???????

    that is so nice she is one lucky kid in the world but how she is only 4 years old! man i wish i could find one.

  • Cats4425

    I wish I could find a prehistoric dinosaur footprint! That is one lucky toddler. Good job lily. :) so good I am surprised

  • jackson

    hi

  • I found a fossil in alberta

  • MANGO

    YES!!!

  • aldrown

    that is amazing!

  • me

    wow!!!

  • Very cool like the stuff on this website.

  • awesome!!!

  • cool

  • Cool

  • Miriam

    Awesome

  • Wow lily ! Great work

  • Lava Girl

    Cool

  • That must’ve been so cool , I wish I found one , she is like SO LUCKY !

  • lena

    wow so cool how did you find it?

  • Jaxon

    well i want to

  • Charlote

  • Hope you find more

  • eli

    hi

  • i wish i found one

  • Scott

    SO LUCKY!

  • Wonderful 7

  • Amelie

    COOL

  • Amelie

    Cool

  • ???

    That is one lucky toddler!

  • davina

    cool

  • Grayson

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wow amazing super I bet it helped the scientists

  • Wow, that's amazing. I wish I could find a prehistoric dinosaur footprint!

  • Alice

    Amazing I heard about it on the news but this is a much closer look! It really is a roarsome discovery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Abdullah

    Cool

  • orangutan girl

    love this

  • Josh

    Yay

  • increible nunca lo imagine

  • Frances

    What an ace find! I think it’s super cool!

  • Well done

  • tim

    good job lilly

  • qwq

    oooooo noice

  • qwq

    ooo

  • qwq

    ooo

  • MillyMopHead

    cool

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    wow

  • Awesome :)

  • ayrton

    wowzers ! she's only four!

  • blabla

  • What an amazing find she's only four years old well done lilly

  • nice

  • Sophia

    Wow!!!

  • flora

    cool

  • Zifeng

    So good I'm surprised!!!

  • YAY!

  • LOVE IT

  • COOL!!!!!

  • Wow

    Wow

  • patrycja

    hi

  • coco

    wow

  • COOL!

  • I wish i found one

  • Cool

  • Benjie Lightoller

    She is so lucky!

  • well done!

  • Noice

  • Dinosaur Lover

    Wow! What an amazing discovery.

  • Unknown

    GREAT

  • Isla

    That is amazing! I want to find one!

  • KT

    Well Done!

  • Love it well done!

  • Dominic

  • Kane

    Amazing find Lily.

  • Logan

    Love it, Well Done Lily!!

  • sharkie boi

    nice!

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