• Spain's news in English
Hiker stumbles upon dinosaur print in hills outside Barcelona
The fossil shows impressions of skin and claws. Photo: Generalitat de Catalunya

Hiker stumbles upon dinosaur print in hills outside Barcelona

Fiona Govan · 3 May 2016, 09:18

Published: 03 May 2016 09:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It is believed to be a footprint of an Isochirotherium, a reptile-like ancestor of dinosaurs and crocodiles that roamed the earth 240 million years ago, said Catalonia’s Department of Culture in a statement announcing the find on Monday.

The print was discovered in early April by a person out walking in Olesa de Montserrat, 40 kilometers north of Barcelona.

A plaster cast of the print was made by the town's council and handed over to the region's archaeology and paleontology department "so it can be studied and preserved".

Eudald Mujal, a paleontologist at Barcelona’s Autonomous University (UAB) who is studying the find, said the fossil was very important because it was "exceptionally well preserved".

"This fossil footprint (ichnite), of the Middle Triassic period, about 240 million years old (Ma), belongs to an archosaur, the group of animals that evolved to dinosaur and crocodiles," he told The Local.

"Archosaurs were similar to crocodiles, of quadrupedal gait, but with longer limbs (both legs and arms) and more erect posture (i.e. no contact of the body trunk and tail on the ground) than crocodiles.

"This footprint is very important because it's exceptionally well-preserved: skin impressions (like reptile scales) are well visible, as well as claw impressions. On a preliminary analysis, this footprint is classified as the ichnogenus Isochirotherium. It'll help us to better understand the shape of the footprint productor, as well as the environment where it live (by geological analyses)," Mujal added.

Story continues below…

"Moreover, this is the third fossil site of this age discovered in the Iberian Peninsula, the other two are in nearby localities of Catalonia. In sum, the footprint (and further findings) will help us to know which animals lived before the rising of dinosaurs, and how was this part of the earth during the Middle Triassic."


For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available