Hiker Stumbles Upon Well-Preserved 230 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Footprint in Spain

May 04, 2016 07:12 AM EDT

A hiker has made an incredible discovery in the hills north of Barcelona when he found a well-preserved footprint of a dinosaur that wandered the area about 230 million years ago.

According to Mirror UK, the hiker discovered the prints at Olesa de Montserrat area, about 25 miles from the city.

Catalonia's Department of Culture said that the footprint is the best preserved print they have seen so far in Iberian Peninsula.

Experts who validated the print said it might be from an extinct species called Isochirotherium, an ancestor of both crocodiles and dinosaurs - a massive reptile which lived in the Middle Triassic era.

In an interview with The Local, Eudald Mujal, a paleontologist at Barcelona's Autonomous University (UAB) who is studying the imprint said the prehistoric reptile may have existed about 240 million years ago.

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"The reptile that left its mark has been dubbed a type of 'hand beast' because its tracks have five fingers with a small toe extending outwards like a thumb. It is thought this morphology allowed it to get a grip in slippery mud during the Triassic, 252 to 201 million years ago," Daily Mail notes.

They also believe that the prehistoric reptiles has long legs that make it appear as if they walked straight and upright whenever hunting for prey.

With the skin and claw impressions being visible on the imprint, it is claimed as one of Spain's biggest discoveries unlocking the history of the area

For further investigation, plaster cast of the print was handed over to the region's archaeology and paleontology department by the council.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time a hiker has come across a dinosaur footprint. In 2014, a hiker has discovered over 200 footprints left behind 125 million years ago by a number of different dinosaurs.

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