Rare Dinosaur Footprint Found in Folkestone, Kent

The newly opened Folkestone museum has recently acquired a very important donation.

Steve Friedrich, a well-known local collector and fossil hunter with over 40 years’ experience, has discovered a rare dinosaur footprint including a trackway on the beach at Folkestone. It was found on 28 September 2017 in the Lower Greensand, making it around 120 million years old (Cretaceous period).  Steve immediately realised the importance of the find and donated it to Folkestone Museum.

The Museum’s Collections Officer, Phil Hadland, who helped to retrieve the find, had previously found evidence of dinosaur footprints in Folkestone.  It was asserted by some that such footprints could not be found here because the local rocks are supposedly all from marine sediments.  However it is now thought possible that the creatures were wandering ancient shorelines during low tides and scavenging.  In Utah in the United States, it was recently discovered that some dinosaurs ate shellfish so it is plausible that they were doing the same in Folkestone.

The dinosaur that made this track is thought to have belonged to the theropods – a group of dinosaurs that included Tyrannosaurus Rex. Like most theropod dinosaurs, it walked on two legs and had three toes on each foot touching the ground. This natural cast of a footprint was formed when the impression left in the ground by the animal’s foot was filled with sand, probably during an incoming tide. The Folkestone tracks are also the youngest known dinosaur tracks from the British Isles.

This dramatic discovery removes any doubt that dinosaurs did indeed roam this part of the earth that we now know as Folkestone.

The footprint will be on display to the public in 2018, please visit our website for further information, or follow us on social media. The finds have also recently been published in Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Phil Hadland: siriscientificpress