It is literally a gigantic step for mankind – or at least for his understanding of giant animals that once roamed around in what is now Scotland.
The first evidence that dinosaurs were on the Scottish mainland was found, with the discovery of a remarkable collection of 170 million-year-old footprints at Inverness.
The world-wide find includes an increased footprint left behind by a member of the sauropod family, the largest animals that have ever lived on land. The print, perfectly preserved in sandstone, is about 70 cm long and clearly shows a foot, heel and four toes.
Until now, the only evidence of dinosaurs in Scotland was on the Hebrew island of Skye.
Dr. Neil Clark, vice president of the Geological Society of Glasgow, was stunned why there were no indications for dinosaur activities in other parts of the country.
He resolved the issue earlier this year when he discovered footprints that were preserved in rocks at a coastal location near Inverness.
"I have often complained about the fact that dinosaurs have not been found elsewhere in Scotland, but I have now discovered new footprints of dinosaurs at a completely different location," said Dr. Clark.
Dr. Clark, who is also curator of paleontology at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, said the location was kept secret until research into the "very important" remains.
"They come from a completely new part of Scotland for dinosaurs and will contribute significantly to our understanding of dinosaurs of that time in Britain," he added.
The discovery will probably make Scotland one of the world's best dinosaur fossil hotspots for the Middle Jurassic, a period that lasted from about 174 million to 163 million years ago.
Worldwide there are few fossil sites from that time.
The site of Inverness contains fossilized impressions of footprints that are thought to originate from different types of dinosaurs.
The size of elevated footprints suggests that they were left behind by a member of the sauropod family of dinosaurs – huge, four-legged herbivores with long, slender necks that were up to 18 meters high.
Now, Dr. Clark has launched a crowdfunding campaign to find and chart the £ 5,000 needed to search and map footprints of dinosaurs across Scotland, with the money likely to be used to buy a drone.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh are expected to participate in the project, allowing Skye to be lifted as Scotland's dinosaur hotspot.
About 170 million years ago, shortly after the supercontinent Pangea began to fall apart, the land that is now Skye was part of a smaller subtropical island.
It is often referred to as the Jurassic Isle of Scotland, due to the fossilized deposits of herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs.
Dr. Clark made his main research after attending a conference in Inverness in March.
He decided to walk along the coast and see footprints of dinosaurs on the shoreline. "I was pretty excited, I knew the importance of the discovery right away," he said.
The crowdfunder is at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cottish-dinosaurs.