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Dinosaur footprints in East Sussex

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Dinosaur footprints in East Sussex

  • Date17 April 2019

David Alderton

Over the years the cliffs in the vicinity of Hastings, East Sussex, have revealed a wealth of Lower Cretaceous fossils. The remains of vertebrates are noteworthy, but perhaps the most spectacular are the tracks of dinosaurs.

Whilst studying the sideritic ironstone beds in the Wadhurst Clay to the east of Hastings I have commonly observed good fossilised footprints. New examples regularly appear due to cliff erosion, but unfortunately they are just as rapidly destroyed due to ongoing wave action. Recent research on the Lee Ness sandstone member has suggested that most of the tracks were produced by theropod and ornithopod dinosaurs, including the genus Iguanodon.

Iguanodon is well-known in popular culture as it was the first dinosaur to be described and reconstructed (by the surgeon Gideon Mantell, albeit with some initial controversy) based on discoveries in Sussex and Kent during the first half of the 19th Century.

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