Yorkshire's 'largest ever dinosaur footprint' found near Filey

The print was found by a local archaeologist and is claimed to be the largest ever found in the county Credit: Marie Woods

A dinosaur footprint, believed to be the largest unearthed in Yorkshire has been found on a beach near Filey.

The print has been described as belonging to a "real Jurassic giant" and was found by archaeologist Marie Woods.

Credit: Marie Woods

"Nice Dino print from today ... I had originally gone to collect shellfish for dinner, but got completely distracted by this beast!!!" she wrote on Twitter.

Ms Woods said she had been out collecting shellfish and was shocked to stumble across the huge print.

She said: "It's in a fragile state and sits close to the water level, meaning it could be lost to the sea.

"John Oxley, former city archaeologist of York, came to take a series photographs so that we could create a 3D model if collection isn't possible."

Credit: Marie Woods

Following her discovery, at a location which is being kept secret, Ms Woods contacted specialists including palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax, the author of Dinosaurs of the British Isles.

Dr Lomax said Ms Woods's discovery turned out to be a rediscovery, as it had been partially spotted by fossil collector Rob Taylor back in November 2020.

Despite Mr Taylor posting pictures of his find in a Facebook group dedicated to fossils from Yorkshire, the fossil was not yet fully exposed and nobody had realised its true importance.

Dr Lomax, who grew up hunting for fossils on the Yorkshire coast and has written extensively on dinosaur finds, said: "This is the largest theropod footprint ever found in Yorkshire, made by a large meat-eating dinosaur.

"We know this because the shape and three-toed track, along with the impression of the claws, are absolutely spot-on for having been made by a large theropod that probably had a hip height of about 2.4 metres and possible body length approaching eight to nine metres - so a real Jurassic giant.

"We can never be certain of exactly what species made it, but the footprint type would match the likes of a dinosaur found in Britain and called Megalosaurus, which lived at roughly the same time this footprint was created, during the Middle Jurassic."

He added: "I'm very grateful that he (Rob Taylor) and Marie have made this discovery, and hope that the specimen can be rescued for science.

"It will definitely make for a wonderful study and would look amazing on display, for the public to enjoy."