Explore the past with RNLI Penarth’s guide to Penarth beach dinosaur footprints
The guides, created with support from Natural History Museum researchers, contain interesting facts about Penarth’s prehistoric footprints, as well as safety information on the best times to visit them.
The dinosaur footprints on Penarth Beach were first found in 2009, but their identification was only confirmed over a decade later. In late 2021, researchers from the Natural History Museum concluded that the footprints date from the Triassic period and were left by a dinosaur from the sauropod family.
The new guides to Penarth’s dinosaur footprints are available for free from the RNLI Penarth shop on Penarth Esplanade.
The guides, developed locally with support from researchers at the Natural History Museum, show visitors how to find the footprints, as well as interesting facts about the animals that left them and the local geology. A special guide for young visitors includes an exciting children’s competition.
The guides include information about how to enjoy the footprints and Penarth Beach safely, with RNLI shop volunteers also on hand to give advice about tides and the best times to visit the footprints.
Laurie Pavelin, chairman of RNLI Penarth, said:
" It's great to be able to celebrate this local attraction and the significance it has for our understanding of the prehistoric world, while at the same time making sure that people are able to enjoy this exciting piece of the past safely."
Professor Paul Barrett, merit researcher at the Natural History Museum, described the significance of Penarth’s dinosaur footprints:
"These types of tracks are not particularly common worldwide, so we believe this is an interesting addition to our knowledge of Triassic life in the UK. The record of Triassic dinosaurs in this country is fairly small, so anything we can find from the period adds to our picture of what was going on at that time."
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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