Fossil hunter finds flesh-eating dinosaur's foot on beach

Credit: museumwales.ac.uk

An amateur fossil-hunter has found the missing foot of Wales's first-ever carnivorous dinosaur.

Sam Davies, 20, of Bridgend, unearthed the ancient claw while doing field work for his University project on Lavernock Beach, Penarth.

The stunned University of Portsmouth student couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the fossilised foot - the missing part of the full fossil dating back more than 200 million years.

"It was pure luck that I found it," he said.

Sam Davies and his dinosaur foot fossil. Credit: museumwales.ac.uk

More: First meat-eating dinosaur fossil found in Wales to be displayed

Testing by his Palaeontology tutor Dr David Martill confirmed that the find was a missing piece of of the same meat-eating Jurassic dinosaur discovered by brothers Nick and Rob Haniga last year.

Sam spotted the ancient foot underneath a 20 cm slab of rock as he strolled along the same beach as the two brothers.

The foot is of a meat eating Therapod dinosaur. Credit: museumwales.ac.uk

The 'Welsh Dragon' is a distant cousin of the T-Rex and is thought to be 201 million years old.

The tiny predator would have been about 50 cm tall with small teeth for catching insects, lizards and small dinosaurs.

It lived at the start of the Jurassic period when south Wales had a hot climate.

Sam has donated the fossilised foot to the National Museum in Cardiff - other parts of the skeleton are on display at National Museum Cardiff until August 31.